Writing Effectively: To Express, Not to Impress
Writing is intended to express our thoughts, ideas and emotions rather than just to impress someone with our writing skills which might disregard the main purpose of us, and that is to be understood.
This is our topic earlier in one of our major subjects which is 'Technical Writing'. In that subject, we are more on focusing on formal writings which are commonly used in scientific and various means of communication which are considered as formal.
As we go through that subject, my professor shared about his experience before when he was still in college.
As an AB English student, he has this classmate who asked him to write a love letter. His classmate has a crush on someone but he didn't know how to express himself that's why he asked for someone's help.
My professor that time was so full of himself (he laughingly admitted that) and so he wrote a letter using colorful yet complicated words to impress his classmate's crush, thinking that maybe, the girl will be amused with his admirer's writing skill (though, he was not the one who wrote it but just asked for my professor's help).
They waited for the girl's response to the letter and my professor and his classmate expected to succeed on their plan. Unfortunately, my professor's classmate got rejected because his crush was annoyed with the letter as she can't understand what's written on it. She even looked for a dictionary to search for the unfamiliar words which took her time (or wasted her time) for that letter.
I was laughing yet I felt bad to my professor's classmate for his unfortunate fate because of my professor's writings. I even jokingly said to my professor about the possibility of his classmate's love story if ever that he just wrote a simple letter that could be easily understood rather than making each word complicated to understand.
From that moment, it's very important to have an appropriate and right purpose when writing and think carefully about who will be the audience/readers. Because, if these are disregarded, our main goal or objective in communication will not be met.
Instead of writing to impress someone about how competent we are, we should write to express ourselves with clarity by using simple words that anyone can understand.
Another instance to give emphasis on the importance of writing to express rather than to impress is when giving a reminder, announcement, or a warning.
What if your neighbor's house (the outside part for example) is burning and he can't hear you from the outside as he is playing a music with his phone. In that case, instead of shouting which doesn't help at all, you think of texting him to inform about his burning house. But, since you want to impress him with your writing skill even in life and death circumstance, you messaged him with "hey, friend! A large conflagration is engulfing your abode."
From that moment, your neighbor could hardly understand your message as he was just an ordinary person without a wide vocabulary, and there's a possibility that he will just ignore your message, or find first a dictionary and search for those complicated words, which will make him lose time to save himself from the fire.
Okay, my example may sound absurd to some of you (🤣) and some may react that "why not call firemen first" but my point here is that, writing shouldn't be made as complicated just to impress someone (unless we are required to do so especially in academic setting).
We should write to express ourselves with a goal of being understood rather to be disregarded for being too complicated.
Writing is one of the most used means of communication, so we should be careful and educated enough about the right ways on how can we be able to produce a clear and concise output.
Of course, there are some types of text which we can use colorful and complicated words especially when talking about creative writing (the opposite of technical writing) wherein it is more on entertainment purposes and not mainly to inform the readers about something important.
However, no matter what type of writing it is, we should have a clearer purpose and our goal to be understood will still be met.
What's the sense of writing a beautiful piece if it can't be understood by many?
As a sign of gratitude, I want to express how thankful I am to you, my readers. Thank you very much for those who keeps on supporting me with my articles, and I hope that even though my writing skill was not yet pro enough, you are still learning from it. I am very thankful also to my sponsors, I am hoping that you are all doing fine and for you to be showered with more blessings from above.
May the good Lord bless you more with love and grace! 😇❤️
Thank you so much for reading! 💕
Date Published: January 19, 2022
Lead Image and Gif: Originally edited by me using Canva
I'm not really good at expressing myself verbally and writing is really a lifesaver. Besides it doesn't matter if the letter is simple and uses limited words, all that matters is we're genuine and it comes from the heart. Because no matter how deep our vocabulary, if the words can't reach the person we want to reach, it's useless.