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Do you notice good writing when you see it?

Poor writing is just like a sore knee

You only think about your knee when it hurts. In fact, when it hurts, that’s all you can think about. You’re not thinking about your run. Or your bike ride. Or your aerobics class.

You’re consumed by the pain – wishing it would go away.

When your knee isn’t hurting, you can focus. On your run. On your bike ride. Or on your aerobics class. You forget that you even have a knee problem at all. Until the next time it hurts, of course.

Writing is the same.

When it’s done well, you don’t notice it

Rather than thinking about the writing, you’re focussed on the message.

Poor writing is just the opposite. All you can think about is the writing – and how bad it is. Maybe it’s unclear and overly complex. Maybe it’s boring and heavy-going. Or perhaps the writer doesn’t care about grammar.

Even one small typo can cause you to lose focus.

Just like the first signs of a minor niggle in your knee. You start paying more attention to the niggle, waiting for the next one to occur.

You’re just waiting for that next typo or grammatical error to appear

When I sat down to write this post, I was going write about why and when you should invest in a specialist writer. (And I still intend to write that post.) But I got distracted when I was reading another blog post on the topic. Because the very first sentence contained a typo.

And when I continued reading, I found myself looking for others. I wasn’t able to concentrate on the message at all.

In fact, although I read the entire post, all I remember now is that the writer forgot to put an apostrophe in ‘visitors’.

If you want to ensure your audience absorbs your message, then write well.

Write clearly and precisely. And if you don’t have the skill or confidence to do that, find someone who does.

Your audience will thank you.