|Photo | Nickton via Flickr|
From my friend's perspective, the client hadn't adequately explained the subject. While the back and forth was slightly more complicated than that, she boiled it down to: If you can't explain a process so others can understand it, then you probably don't really know the process.
This really translates to writing about a subject that may not be your strong suit.
Lately my writing and editing clients have required me to conduct a lot more research than I ordinarily have to do. (Think astrophysics to my breezy features of interesting local business leaders.) Some of the assignments turned out to be more difficult than others. In at least one case, the writing was made more difficult because I 't read about the subject but couldn't then explain what I'd read to my husband, for example.
The writing was difficult because I didn't really know the material. If you can't explain it, then how much do you really understand about what you are talking about?
In later assignments, I fell back on a way to research and write that I've found works well for me. I
- read the research,
- take notes and
- then let it settle in my mind.
The clarity of the writing comes from your understanding of the subject. Now, to get ready to understand some turkey!
Elizabeth King Humphrey is a writer and editor living in coastal North Carolina. One of the things she is most thankful for this Thanksgiving is all the wonderful readers of WOW! Thank you for your readership and comments. Have a super holiday.