Can your writing be too good?

Aug 31, 2015 | General, Writing Tips | 2 comments

Yes. It can. Or, at least, it can be too clever.

I love writing – I feel so lucky to do it for a living. In my old job, on occasion I’ve lingered in my ‘sent’ folder over a beautifully crafted email (I know, I know. Not healthy. Or productive). Writing’s what I do when I want to relax in the evening. Doodling in notebooks or on my blog (the other one).

But that’s a very different kettle of fish to writing about your work.

When you’re writing to or for your (potential) clients, you don’t want your words to GET IN THE WAY. I don’t think George Orwell was talking about webpages or blogs back in 1946 when he wrote

Good prose is like a windowpane.

But it works for our purposes
What you want words to do is let the light in. Flowery, misleading, overblown, long-winded, irrelevant words – they’re what your audience will notice.

And if they’re busy noticing your words, they won’t notice the shiny things you have to make their lives or the world better.

Clean windows to let the light in. That’s what you’re after.


Share if you love this writing and article

Gayle Johnson

Gayle Johnson


Gayle is a freelance content writer, writing mentor and facilitator. She is the creator of ‘Wordspill’ and loves helping people use words to connect with themselves and others. Find out how you can work with Gayle and her services


  1. Sarah Dixon

    That really is the perfect photograph to accompany that lesson!

    • Gayle

      Thanks Sarah. Beautiful picture isn’t it?!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

4 ways ‘you can’t write it wrong’ with reflective writing

4 ways ‘you can’t write it wrong’ with reflective writing

One of the tenets of reflective writing, the sort of writing we do in Wordspill, is that you can't write it wrong. It's a simple phrase to remember, and one I repeat often when facilitating groups. But what does it really mean? In this blog we'll break it down.  ...

Want to write sparky, helpful content? Do more with less.

Want to write sparky, helpful content? Do more with less.

I work with values-driven businesses. People who do what they do because they want to help others. Because they want to make people's lives better. So, of course, they need to ensure their words make an impact. They need to write helpful content. And it needs to...

Pin It on Pinterest