Easy reading and the art of writing

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.” Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Writing that is easy to read is certainly hard to write.

Many misinformed people think they will start their writing career by writing picture book texts for children “because they are so simple they must be easy.” This assumption is totally wrong.

Have you ever tried to write a very simple text for four and five year olds with the following criteria?

  • Have a limited vocabulary
  • Write within a strict word count
  • Tell an interesting story
  • Be relevant to the needs and interests of children
  • Be age relevant
  • Be sparkling text
  • Be socially inclusive, non-sexist, non-racist and non-everything
  • Be innovative.

If you have, and been successful, then you don’t need to be reading this post.

In the early 1990s I wrote a series of texts for a publisher. These were for three to five year olds, and I know how difficult, challenging, exhausting and demanding it can be. Throw a publisher’s deadline into the mix and you will appreciate how hard it really can be.

With much practice in the art of writing you can make your writing appear easy.

It may appear easy, but the process is very hard.


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