The Smarter You Get the Dumber You Write

When I was starting out as a writer, I assumed I had to sound smart. It was more about my personal benefits and making myself look better in front of my readers.

Clearly an ego thing. And, a naïve thought.

It took me a lot of trial and error, books, and interactions with mentors to understand that better writers don’t write to sound complex. They write to communicate. They don’t try to be clever. They focus on being clear.

So, I finally learned to write simple and clear. That’s what the best writers do. Go, check Hemmingway. Check Gary Halbert. Check Ogilvy.

But here’s the paradox of being a writer…

When you’re a writer, you have to research (A lot). You spend days reading books, articles, and even research papers. It is part of your routine, especially in the digital age. It is not part of your DNA to consume good high intellect material.

So you forget the difference between you and an average reader.

You assume your readers know the same stuff as you do.

A few days back, I was on a hike with a friend and we were discussing the good effects a trek has on the body. And, we got into discussions about hormones released during high-intensity workouts.

I spoke about how serotonin has good effects on our mood. This came off as a shock to my friend. Not the part about trek being beneficial, but the depth about how serotonin impacts mood and relates to dopamine.

This piece of information was obvious to me, but completely new to him.

When you’ve been writing for some years and you’ve deep driven into research, take a moment to reflect on your writing.

If you’re writing for yourself, forgetting about your audience, you’re probably fitting in the definition of a dumb writer.

Write for your audience.

The best writers are the smartest creatures, they aren't dumb. I'm referring to writer who try to sound intelligent just for the sake of it.



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Noman Shaikh

Noman Shaikh

Copywriter & Marketing Consultant | Crazy about psychology and human behaviour | Web: