A simple way to instantly improve your writing

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There’s a common saying in writing:

“Cut the fat.”

This means to remove all unnecessary words and get to the point.

  • What point are you making?

  • What does it mean to me?

  • How can you say it simply?

It’s one of the simplest ways to instantly improve your writing.

But not easy!

Many people struggle with writing concisely, and it holds them back from being the best communicators they can be.

So, let’s help with that.

Here are 3 simple ways to “cut the fat” and instantly improve your writing:

1. Say one thing

One reason writing can drag on is because the writer is trying to communicate several points at once.

This is confusing for the reader.

Here’s an example of saying more than one thing at once:

There are three ideas in here about making pizza:

  • Try different toppings

  • Try different cheeses

  • Vary the crust thickness

If you wanted to “cut the fat” from this paragraph, you might start by picking one point to make about making pizza.

2. Say it simply

Most writing is too complicated.

We like to use complex words, jargon and long sentences to sound smart.

But it completely defeats the purpose of writing, which is to be understood.

Let’s go back to our pizza example.

Here’s a paragraph about how to make a pizza:

What a mouthful!

It’s hard to even read that paragraph.

The reason: It’s loaded with complex words and filler.

Here’s the same paragraph rewritten and reformatted:

Sure, we cut a couple minor details out.

But the main thing we did was just say it simply.

3. Say it directly

Lastly, say what you want to say directly.

A preamble and plethora of descriptors is confusing.

Back to our pizza example.

Let’s say you’re married and want to eat pizza for dinner tonight:

Here’s one way to say that to your spouse:

That’s a very indirect way to say you want pizza!

This would do:

Hey, I’d like pizza tonight. Cheese and pepperoni. How does that sound?

Remember the Golden Rule of powerful writing:

Get to the point and get out of the way.


To recap, here are three simple ways to “cut the fat” in your writing:

  • Say one thing

  • Say it simply

  • Say it directly

You can always add context if needed.

Start practicing these principles in everything you write, and you will see immediate improvement.

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