The KISS Method: Keep It Short, Stupid

 

USA Today Founder and Columnist Al Neuharth

When Gannett began publishing USA Today in 1982, journalism pundits roundly ridiculed the five-day-a-week paper for its “McJournalism” style: short, punchy articles as lean as editors could make them. Today, in the Internet Age, that style almost seems long-winded, at least compared to 140-character-or-less tweets.

USA Today founder Al Neuharth’s Plain Talk of March 25, 2011, discussed how he writes his weekly column, which is never more than 300 words.

“When I do the first draft,” Neuharth wrote, “it sometimes runs 500 words or more. That’s easy. Trimming it down is difficult. That sometimes takes me two or three hours.

“Getting things short and to the point us the most important thing we should keep in mind in our personal or professional lives. In writing or speaking. From grade school to high school to college to our job.

“Long-winded stuff loses the attention of listeners., readers, viewers, friends, even family. That’s true in one-on-one discussions, group gatherings or the mass media.”

That’s great advice. But when you don’t have the time to polish   writing yourself, find yourself a good editor.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Editing Tips, Uncategorized, Writing Tips

One response to “The KISS Method: Keep It Short, Stupid

  1. Pingback: More on Writing Less | The Long and Short of It

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s