Three Things I’ve Learned from Shani Raja and His Course ‘Writing With Flair’

Writing With Flair was one of the courses I’ve bought on Udemy during the Christmas sale. It took me a while to start taking them but better late than never, right?

Writing With Flair is a very well-structured course packed with examples. It concentrates on three ingredients of a good writing: simplicity, clarity, and elegance. For me, however, there were three clear lessons that ran across these modules.

Be consistent

First and foremost, know and always keep in mind the purpose of the text. Everything in the text must work for this purpose.

Next, pay attention to fuzzy thinking which leads to awkward text. You want to be very clear about what you’re saying. Also, try to eliminate all ambiguity, misreadings, and doubt.

On a completely different note, create a personal set of rules and follow it throughout every text. Capitalization, dashes, acronyms, all those little but important things make a good impression if used consistently. You might want to divide your text into paragraphs according to a certain principle, too.

Be a person of principle

Learn the rules of the game. Mr. Raja teaches what to pay attention to, how to work with the text while writing and editing. Do not be mistaken, he doesn’t say those rules are unbreakable. On the contrary, be flexible with them. Besides, there can be a clash of principles. But the main point is to know them in order to know how and when to break them. In order to break them consciously, in other words.

Be efficient

This idea can be found in almost every video of the course. For one thing, use shorter words. For another, use fewer words whenever possible. Avoid repetition and any unnecessary words, including weak, redundant or hedging. You might want to avoid jargon, too.

Besides, avoid repetition of ideas, too. Each sentence should make a unique point. There’s no need to state one thing twice or more, unless, of course, it’s done on purpose (like in speeches). In order to make your text well structured, draw an outline and set a sequence of ideas at this stage. Only when the narrative of the text is clear you may start writing the text itself.

There were many more things, of course, and I think I will be getting back to my notes from time to time to refresh them. But I found these three to be the most important for me right now.