• Adam Tarnow

Jonny's Five Writing Tips

If you read my LinkedIn post recently you know you're about to read some solid gold:


You read that write. Uhh, I mean right. Jonny’s a professional writer.

He’s ghost-written five books and writes every day for his job. I asked him for some tips on self-editing and you can find his list below:

#1 Your and you’re

My most common grammatical mistake. I don’t know why. But when I see it, it’s like a flashing siren that shows exactly where I lost focus while writing. Knowing your knee-jerk errors (and why they happen) is a great place to start editing.

#2 Just

This is my “uhh” or “umm.” It’s a word I type when I’m, like, I don’t know, just stalling for time. 99.9% of the time I can delete it. Similar to a common error, these stall words should jump off the page as places where you weren’t writing confidently. Reread the sentence and see if you actually knew what you were saying.

#3 Full stop.

I love short sentences. Love ‘em. So much. But when there’s a string of them all in row, they lose their punch. Everyone has a go-to sentence structure. Search for places where multiple sentences look and sound the same. Then mix it up.

#4 Missing metaphors

Metaphors are like a burst of oxygen to a deep-sea free diver. I forget them because I usually get caught up in the topic at hand. Your reader no doubt loves the depths of the ocean that you’re showing them in whatever topic you’re writing about, but they need air. Give them a break with a new mental image and then take them back under.

#5 Ambiguousness

Look for words that don’t make sense. Don’t use five syllables when you could use two. I run into this often when I’m trying to sound smart. But the simple fact is that clarity is king. And if I actually were smart I would describe something as “unclear” rather than “full of ambiguousness.” And just like that, my mind was BLOWN. If you found these helpful, be sure to connect with Jonny.

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