No Ifs, Ands, or Buts

Have you ever been reading a sentence, gotten to the end, and said, “What in the world did that even mean?”?

Do you then go back and read it again? And maybe again? And maybe even a fourth time?

I know I have. One of the primary reasons for this is that we can make our sentences too complex. There is no substitute for a short, punchy sentence, with “no ifs, ands, or buts.”

I realize that this statement doesn’t normally refer to writing. It typically refers to making excuses for yourself in “crisis” moments. But it still works.

I know for a fact I am guilty of lengthy sentences filled with parentheticals, several independent clauses, multiple dependent clauses, and other complicating factors. I am working on changing these habits.

But my encouragement to you today is this: simplify your writing. Try taking out as many ifs, ands, and buts as you can. Keep your sentences short. Occasionally add a more complicated sentence to break up the staccato feeling of your writing. But for the most part, be simple! I’m trying to practice this myself. I think it could do wonders for making writing more engaging.

Have a great day!

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