Where do we pick up our bad habits? Parents? Older siblings? Influential friends?
Maybe, but I’ll offer another—teachers. Yes, I said it—teachers.
“Ok, class, your assignment is to write a 5,000-word essay.” <collective groan>
Well, esteemed teachers, it is my opinion, therefore, that you are, solely, though perhaps unjustly, insomuch as responsible for one of the greatest of pet peeves in writing—filler.
We’ve all played the word count game.
Fast-forward to today. Your readers are still counting your words, but in the exact opposite way. Email me a dissertation and you get a “D”. Delete.
So what can you do?
- Recognize your bad habit. As they say, acceptance is the first step.
- Visualize a better way. Print your content and break out that red pen.
- Quit with a buddy. Ask a trusted colleague to challenge (not edit) your work.
- Fail forward. Habits are hard to replace; keep trying.
- Get professional help. (That’s me, if you’re new here.)
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Shannon Vasko is a natural born planner with a passion for strategy and integrated communications. © MI Compass Services