Don’t lose sight of the “one thing.”
Jack is aged 6 ¾ and asks a world renowned scientist the meaning of life. Even a young human wants to know the one thing — perhaps the most important one thing.
In my own quest for life’s purpose I bought a book called, ironically enough, The One Thing. I read that book and I didn’t find my one thing. Maybe I should have read the comments before I bought it. My favorite review is:
“I learned I needed to focus on one thing, and that it shouldn’t be on reading this book”
You would expect my obsession with the one thing to have helped me recognize its importance in writing, and yet I’m guilty of writing too much for myself, offering a rambling stream of consciousness, and leaving the reader wondering, “what am I supposed to take away from this?”
Writing for oneself is a good thing, but too often I tell myself I’m writing for others and end up with something self-indulgent. I fall in love with long words and contrive ways to use them. I take too long to get to the point (just like I’m doing again right now), but this morning I picked up an email from Melody Wilding titled “ How to Be a Confident and Concise Communicator” and in her points she reminded me of the one thing.
To quote the third point (of nine) in her article, in which she explains how to communicate clearly and effectively:
“COMPLETE THE SENTENCE “IF YOU WALK AWAY FROM THIS CONVERSATION WITH ONE THING, I WANT IT TO BE ______.” ~ Melody Wilding
Melody, whose writing you can also find on Medium, was talking about being concise in conversations, but her third point applies just as much to the written word.
In an effort to cut out the fluff I will be ending this article somewhat abruptly, but I will leave you with this article’s one thing:
Leave your reader with one very clear gift.
(I began this article four hours ago. 10 minutes ago it was three times longer. It seems my own self-indulgence can be mighty some days.)
Originally published at https://curiousoasis.com on March 3, 2021.