Thursday, March 12, 2009

Writing – From hot-pan walk to cake-walk

There are a variety of readers with varying tastes; they have a reading pattern of their own, some like to read the old fashioned detailed writings, while others prefer crisp and to the point writings.

A writer writes to be READ and hence he strives to improve everyday, with this thing in mind, I would like to share some points that may come handy to my fellow writers and to-be-writers who are willing to be read:
  1. Keep in mind the target audience, anyone who is going to read your writing is your audience; he is going to see you perform throughout your article.
  2. Never show off, your writing is not your attire but your attitude and hence carry it with utmost care and never ever show off.
  3. Have a clear picture of what you wish to convey, unless you are clear about the ideas you wish to share, it would be very tough for your audience to grasp the same.
  4. Never make unnecessary assumptions which would eventually alter the entire style of your writing. For instance, don’t feed in a lot of details about some basic scientific phenomena when your target audience is scientists or take it the other way round, never write so much superficially that your readers are flummoxed and are even unable to comprehend the piece.
  5. Using thesaurus is good but it is not meant to show off the language; to pick a precise word is one thing and to pick an unknown, uncommon word another.
  6. See if your ‘writing’ interests you or not, if it can not interest you, there is a very high chance that it won’t interest anyone else; I tell you a secret – NO ONE READS TO GET BORED!!
  7. If I want to get bored, I would never prefer reading over umpteen other mediums; hence never take chances and try creating a piece of work that could be anything but not BORING.
  8. Be specific, digression is good only if you know your destination, you digress and reach somewhere, which leaves not only you but also your readers confused, is unacceptable.
  9. Read your article a couple of times before actually publishing it, every time you would be beautifying your piece at least a bit.
  10. Neither feel contended nor complacent; you might have written a fantastic article but DON’T get carried away, always have the zeal to improve upon yourself, bring in consistency, bring in charm, bring in a new wave of magic in each and every article.
  11. Novelty is what we are all are looking for; bring in the variety and kill clichéd works in your article; this newness is always admired and talked about (This novelty made Aravind Adiga win Booker for The White Tiger).
  12. Experiment with your articles; never be afraid of trying something new: it may or may not be liked by one and all, but it would certainly make you much wiser.
  13. In the journey of your article writing, bring in unexpected twists, turns and sharp curves; grave and joyous picturesque sceneries for the reader to admire and then leave your article up to the reader to praise, love and cherish.

""13 points is just a matter of chance, no voodoo attempts""

Comparing writing with the culinary skill, some points garnishing this analogy are:

  • However good your dish may be, it has a scope for improvement.
  • All the best dishes in this world are a result of experimentation.
  • Same kind of the best delicacy if eaten daily can lead to monotony and hence food merely becomes a daily bread rather than a piece of art, so bring in novelty.
  • Be it a food connoisseur or your 10 year old kid, anyone can give you a tip or two to improve upon your dish, so listen to them.
  • The content is certainly important but equally important is the overview of your dish; work on the overall presentation to ensure that no one makes a decision without even tasting it.
  • Prepare food that can be digested, if the eater is required to take in something to digest it, you are to be blamed.
  • Never prepare the food without the prior knowledge of those who are going to consume it, you serve the best sea-food to a bunch of veggies and end up receiving boos and shoos.

Unless you are very clear about the target audience, you can’t create a good piece of art.

Be it
a painting, a song
a poem, a dance

give your best shot
and never miss a chance

it should be appealing enough
even in the first glance

it is a piece of your soul
and not a piercing lance

it would bridge the distances
shorten the gaps

it would narrow the lanes
put you ahead some laps

Spread magic and charm
And make the cold life lovely and warm….

So gear up authors, mould your thoughts into words and present them in a beautiful platter to be remembered and admired till eternity.

You will die but your writing won’t, it would see the times that even your last worn-out strand of DNA won’t be able to.

This post is primarily motivated by a writing project on a fantastic site ‘Confident Writing’ to improve your writing skills by Joanna. Thanks Joanna for the inspiration!!

--sudharm baxi


  1. The one key point I particularly agree with is to know your target audience and use the appropriate language for them. Many writers write for themselves and forget their readers. (Many text books are written not for the students, but for the professor showing off his vocabulary:)

    Very nicely written, Sudharm!

    Be well.


  2. Thanks Nancy for dropping by!!

    I certainly agree with you over that, the most important mantra for a writer to be a well read writer is -



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