Want to know a not-so-secret secret?
The number one skill you can develop as a medical writer is clarity.
I mean, how many times a day do you write a text message, email or comment?
We are all constantly writing… but we rarely take a moment to think about how clearly we are communicating what we want to say and who we want to say it to.
If there’s one thing I would encourage you to do after reading this post, it would be this:
Write something once, then write it again to make it clearer.
As the popular saying goes: the real writing happens in the editing and rewriting.
So how can you make something clearer? Do this:
1. Chop out long or unnecessary words
2. Make your sentences shorter
3. Include a list of bullet points
4. Include numbered bullet points if you want to prioritise things in a certain order or give a set of instructions
5. Use headings to categorise sections
6. Include a clear introduction to the topic, and state what you want the reader to do at the end of reading your message
There are many advantages to writing more clearly, for you and the person you are writing to, such as:
1. The person who reads it is more likely to understand your message straight away, and feel good about it!
2. The person who reads it is less likely to ask questions, which will save both of you some time, and you’ll feel super productive.
3. You can move the conversation forward quickly, share ideas and make progress with whatever you’re working on.
4. People will like working with you, as clear communicators are more likely to finish work to a high standard. That means meeting all the requirements outlined in a brief. Big tick!
So just before you send that message or email, or even write an article, make sure you read it, think about how your reader will read it and rewrite it to make it clearer.
Get someone else to read it – in fact, the more people you get feedback from, the better your writing will be and the clearer your message will become, which will lead to the results you want!