4 bad writing habits—and how to break them

Good writing is a discipline. Here are some bad practices that all writers should weed from their daily routines.

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Neuroscientists and psychologists tell us the best way to break a bad habit is to replace it with a new, better habit. For example, if you drink too much diet soda, a good way to cut down is to establish a new habit of drinking 8 ounces of water before you reach for a diet soda.

The same can apply to writing habits.

Here are four bad writing habits, along with ways to replace them with better tendencies:

1. Bad habit: You ignore your audience.

In the world of corporate communications, “writing for your audience” often takes a back seat to the whims and demands of executives or colleagues. Your boss might want to include 500 words of background information in a blog post, but that doesn’t mean readers want to read it.

New habit: Remember, your audience is not your boss, but the “end user” of what you’ve written. Think about that audience before you start writing.

2. Bad habit: You Bury the lede.

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