I am often asked by my students how can they expand their vocabulary to sound more confident in English. My answer never changes— I say “You should find what works for you”, — cuz as much I wish I told you otherwise, there’s just no universal recipe for nifty writing. In this article, I will lay out some ingredients of my written craft: how I manage to score more than a 50% read-through rate in my articles, whilst 20–50% is considered to be a benchmark on Medium.
Before we start, I must concede that I’ve never taken any courses in writing and landed far away from a definition of a greedy reader. Contrary to a widespread belief, there are a number of successful authors that had not been big readers before they commenced writing, however, it’s still seen as an unorthodox coincidence, so yup— we’re a rare breed. With that said, this guide is my close-to-midnight thought experiment, which just happened to come across in a written form. Let’s ride.
First off, the way I write is a reflection of how I speak. My best writing takes place when I’m in the zone and I almost talk to myself while doing it. Having a good, sharp, and complete sentence is the result of saying it out loud and pretending I have an audience to dazzle. This is one thing.
Another one is that I have a visual + auditory memory, a combined memory of the two. When I listen and watch people talk, I can practically reproduce what I’ve heard in my mind, practice it verbally, and subsequently on paper.
Non the less significant part of my knack is that I write about myself. My narrows are introspective — I dig deep to the root of my thoughts to uncover something beneath the ground. It often happens while I’m writing, and whereas this lightbulb goes off for me, it also lights up for my readers, who reap the benefits of the way I think and/or arrive to cohesive conclusions.
Furthermore, I am keen on simplicity. This is part of my English teaching methodology — keep things short and simple. Ideas that go viral must be simple to understand. If you complicate your own language — you complicate your own life. Trust me — you can use simple words but remain elegant.
Simple elegance is what I mastered.
Next: the formatting. Believe it or not, this is the biggest lesson I learned from my investor, which touched on the matter of writing — not business or management. The lesson was: spend 5 minutes to write, and 15 minutes to format. It’s pretty common advice, yet super relevant.
Reading shouldn’t add complexity to the journey, it should be left out of the obstacles similar to what efficient management should be about — helping people to ride smoothly to achieve their goals. I didn’t say that, it’s Fred DeLuca — the founder of Subway Sandwiches, but I’m 100% on board with Fred. My readers are my friends, just like my employees are my friends. I want both to succeed. Hence — why complicate ? =)
Last but not least is the ability to tell stories.
Self-knowledge is the key to finding your authentic storytelling nature. As a writer, you write what you know. As a storyteller, you should know yourself to translate your message, and purpose in your stories. This is the key.
The clues above are not an exhaustive list, yet it gives you an understanding that there is definitely more than one way to skin a cat. In the meantime, I will sign off and wish all of you to find your own unique style in whatever you feel like doing. The most important thing is to give yourself a shot. Who knows — it might work similarly to my self-learned, odd writing …
Peace. Love. Rock-n-Roll.
P.S. I love cats.