As an editor, I like to know that writers use their words deliberately.
If I know that the writer picked her words intentionally rather than carelessly, I can do a better job of editing.
Many sentences that I encounter employ words in a way that my high school English teachers would have considered incorrect, ungrammatical or even immoral (I’m not kidding).
A stickler by nature and training, I revise or suggest improvements to stuff that other people write. More and more frequently, I ask a question that other editors and writers might find useful: Why?
Why did you choose present tense rather than past?
Why did you spell “colour” that way?
Why can’t I find a verb in what you’re trying to pass off as a sentence?
Did you really mean “their pronouns” or should it be “my pronouns”?
Present tense might be the preferred style, depending on the context. “Colour” may or may not be a typo. The missing verb? A quirk, maybe, or a simple mistake.
Pronouns are more complicated than you might think, as I’ve learned in recent years. My pronouns, for example: he/his/him. Few of my readers need to know that, but the concept of gender-neutral pronouns and inclusive language can be critical in some writing and conversation.
“Why?” can help the writer improve. The answers can be surprising and even educational, for writer and editor.
Creating content is a fuzzy, buzzy phrase that means writing and editing stuff.
That stuff might take any number of forms, including news, entertainment, commentary, analysis, scientific papers, technical instructions, training, even clickbait.
Some stuff is still delivered on paper, with ink. Much is delivered digitally in some form: text, video, audio or some combination of those.
Creating content is so easy that we’re awash in the stuff. Just look around.
The more rare good content is different, and the best of that is created with intent.
Creating content with intent is akin to what I call writing with intent. Writing with intent — with a solid grasp of your purpose for writing and disseminating your work — inevitably improves the end result.
Whether your purpose is to inform, instruct, train, sell products, sway votes, incite a riot, make people laugh, or just get clicks, be able to state that purpose clearly before you write a word.
You can’t meet an objective if you can’t articulate it.