As an editor, it’s my job to poke the writer when I feel they’re not getting to the point or when they’re holding back on details. Oftentimes I’m poking a sore spot that the writer doesn’t want to address: a trauma that occurred, or a difficult theory they need to work out. We then determine together if they should dive deeper or hold back on the details.
The reader can often tell when you’re writing around the point. Choosing to say a little more can draw them in and increase their trust in the story and their trust in you as the guide.
Still, there’s a lot to be said for keeping information below the waterline. In this age of social media, we’re often accused of oversharing. “TMI!” people shout while covering their eyes or ears. With so much on display, I’m more interested in what we choose not to reveal.
In your next piece of writing, ask yourself, “What am I not saying?”
- Do you need to hold those cards close to your chest?
- Would letting the reader in on your thoughts improve the piece or oversaturate it?
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