Good writing is all about being simple, clear and concise


Welcome to writelikeahack.

Or should that be Write Like a Hack?

You see, this blog is all about good writing. And, as any journalist will tell you, good writing means simple writing.

No hack worth his or her salt will use ten words when three will do. Or use a ten-letter word when a four-letter one will suffice. Or begin a sentence with a conjunction!

You see, there’s a difference between ‘correct’ English and good English. This site isn’t about teaching perfect grammar or flawless punctuation; it’s about teaching people to communicate – to tell a story as simply and clearly as possible. Because, that’s what good writing is about.

First of all, though, I should tell you a little about myself.

I’m a hack and proud of it. A journalist with over ten years’ experience, I have had my work featured in all sorts of media outlets – from the smallest local newspapers and websites to some of the Ireland’s leading newspapers. Along the way, I’ve won a few awards, made lots of friends – as well as a few enemies – and had a wild time.

Most of all, I’ve learned a thing or two about good writing. And that’s what I want to share with you here.

So what is good writing?

As I mentioned above, good writing is simple, easy to understand and free of jargon, cliché, humbug and general puffery.

A well-written sentence should be as readable for an eight-year-old child as is for an seventy-year-old professor of English.

Good writing is not about showing off the size of your vocabulary; it’s about getting your message across to your reader.

And that’s a surprisingly simple thing to do…when you take away all the bad habits, misconceptions, common errors and unnecessary complications.

So, whether you’re a blogger, a citizen journalist with a breaking story, a member of a community organisation who wants to communicate better with your peers, or someone who just wants to learn how to write in good, clear English, this is the place for you.

Stay tuned to find out the tricks us hacks use to tell stories that make people sit up and listen.

Coming soon….The five most common mistakes that lead to poor writing.


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