With Thanksgiving upon us, I’m inundated with articles and news stories about overeating. There are basic tips on how to enjoy the holiday without overdoing it. The advice is always good and practical. How easy it is to implement the wisdom is another story. Funny enough, a lot of the rules also apply to writing. And, of course, the same truth applies as well:  it’s all good and practical but how well it can be applied is its own challenge.   It doesn’t mean we stop trying though.  So here goes:

1.       Skip the Appetizers. Avoid a wordy introduction. Get to the point quickly before you lose your audience. You don’t want readers to lose interest before the “meatiest” part.

2.       Measure portions. Don’t overserve yourself. That goes for food as well as words. Too many ideas or long, complicated sentences only confuse the issue and create overload. Simple is better.

3.       Take a break. The radio says, “Stop between dinner and dessert to take a break. Take a walk, play a game of catch or football.” Exactly. A pause in writing brings fresh perspective and helps you see errors.  Relax and eat a turkey leg!  Then come back to your work with renewed interest and energy.

The radio also said, “If you get through the meal without unbuttoning your top button, consider it a success.” Ditto. Consider a succinct piece of writing sleek and sexy, not fat and bloated. Of course, if good eating habits and good writing habits were easy, we’d all be swimsuit models and Nobel Prize winning writers.  But we’ll keep trying.

Happy Thanksgiving!