Less is More … to the *Point*

Re-Work is a magical book.

It is short, shorter than nearly every other business book I have read. Oh, and it has some delightful art.

The story goes that it was cut in two – not literally – but the word count was literally spliced apart and the art was used to make up the missing pages. This may be apocryphal but there is a serious point.

Lawyers write for Who?

Not their clients.

If they did then no one in their right mind would understand let alone be terribly interested in the turgid material that is spewed forth.

My one simple point is this. Write through the eyes of your buyers. Adopt their persona.

And if that feels just too bloody hard, then get a big fat red pen out and cut the article in two. There you go. That was easy.

Those of you who know me from practice will know I like words. I don’t think I was ever called verbose but I love prose. In fact, I have even have a favourite word: propinquity (shamelessly borrowed from The English Patient).

But even I recognise that our attention spans are short. We want to understand your point in a micro-second.

So next time you are tempted to draft more prolix copy, don’t. If you end up with 500 words cut it down to 250. Better still 50.

Less is so much more.

~ JS~