Simply Writing Simple Words

I was elated yesterday to look in on my books at Amazon, and see that a 5-star review showed up for one of the books. It really helped to allay my fears that maybe I should quit writing.

I used to conduct training classes and write training manuals for a weight loss company. I never perceived the manuals to be creative writing, because I was simply writing down everything I said during the classes.

The people attending were from all walks of life – people with high school diplomas to franchise owners with college degrees. I remember my boss telling me that the manuals should be written at about a fifth- to seventh- grade level. He said it was simply for clarity of understanding, and the classes would move along more quickly. Information could be found and taken from the manuals more easily as well.

One of my trainers was trying to improve her vocabulary. It was fine when we were together, and we would laugh at how silly she sounded at times, but I told her she wasn’t to practice her newfound vocabulary words in the classroom. It had to be kept simple.

I’m not the best when it comes to vocabulary, but I’m not ignorant either. Two years of Latin helped me tremendously with the English language. I do get frustrated when I’m reading something (usually nonfiction), and I find myself reading a paragraph(s) over and over again until I understand what I just read. Sometimes the author is kind enough to say, “Simply put …” What was the point of the bloated paragraph full of five dollar words when the simply put version would have sufficed?

I guess that’s how I approach my writing. I don’t need to use a huge vocabulary or five dollar words for the type of book I’m writing. I don’t want to stop the flow of my reader by using a word or words that might cause them to wonder about the context of what they just read.

That’s not to say I don’t enjoy reading the work of someone else that goes beyond the simplistic. My thoughts about word choices and writing style helped to put things into perspective for me today. The writing I’m doing is working for me because it’s a style I used years ago.

After I read the positive review, it lit a fire under me, and I was able to write yesterday and add another 3,000 words to my current book. I’m planning to self-publish it in July.