the sky floor

Try this Simple Trick for Writing Complex Ideas Clearly

December 5, 2022

Writing can be daunting, especially when you have something complex to put into the written word. I have been writing this blog for nearly two years, and with this almost daily practice, I have discovered a simple trick that helps me distill down a complex idea, paragraph, or sentence. It is a simple phrase we all use: In Other Words. 

The key here is not to filter your initial description. Write it all out, and do not start to re-organize it or edit it yet. Once you get that super rough draft out, create a new paragraph, write “In other words,” and compose it again. Boom! That is the trick. At this point, you can almost always erase the first attempt and the phrase “In other words.”

What if the content isn’t much more straightforward? Try again. Just run down the page saying, “In other words,.” Eventually, you will have something more conversational and easier to comprehend. 

“In other words,” forces you to explain something like you would in person. Most importantly, it encourages new phrasing because you cannot just use what you previously wrote – those are identical words! 

In the best-case scenario, you erase attempt one and have more precise writing. In the worst case, you can edit your first version and include the phrase to help the reader through your thought process. Both will be a win for clarifying a complex topic to your readers.

When writing, try using the phrase “In other words,” to bring fresh clarity to complex ideas. 

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