Clear writing requires clear thinking

I’m working on a long-form article. But my reviewers say it isn’t ready. As I re-read it (again), I see that it’s a cluttered mess - long on ideas, short on meaning or action.

I made two critical errors.

The first was in writing the post with references throughout to a different, lengthy document. This requires one of two things: the reader to go read something else before returning (assuming they return) or, for the post to explain the other document before sharing some new insight or perspective. Both of these expect the reader to do extra work so I don’t have to.

The second was more egregious. I wrote without understanding my position. My lack of clarity resulted in writing that lacked clarity. For many years, as I wrote, I kept William Strunk's, “Omit needless words”, firmly in mind. Since I’ve started writing more publicly, a new quote is gaining:

Clear thinking becomes clear writing; one can’t exist without the other.
— William Zinsser, "On Writing Well"