I’ve just finished writing a draft of the script for my next YouTube video. I believe that I’m a good communicator, but writing doesn’t come naturally to me. I remember a lot of the ‘rules’ from school, although I’m sure I make mistakes. My grammar and punctuation are only okay. The problem is that there are nearly infinite ways of structuring a simple sentence and get stuck in an endless editing cycle weighing out the merits of each decision. “Is this an instruction, or advice? Should I explain in first person or third?”
When I’m scripting a tutorial, I get uneasy. The point is to explain each step, but I think some things are just so obvious that if I mention it I might be speaking down to my audience. Sometimes a step is so multifaceted that I think it’s important to explain how each step leading up to and the eventual outcome of each step that follows is determined by the quality of our work now and this leads me to construct these rambling, run-on sentences with no end in sight. And what is my best way to phrase an instruction? Written instructions are one thing, but I’m writing this to be a narration. How each line will sound spoken gives me pause. To explain something as simple as the necessity of choosing a color:
- First, you should choose what color you want. Might sound too demanding
- First, choose what color you want. Sounds too direct, too monosyllabic.
- First, pick a color. Sounds like a magic trick set up.
- First, pick your color. Too terse.
- First, choose the color you wish to use. Too flowery, maybe?
- First, I’ll choose the color I want. It’s more passive, but is it too passive?
- First, I’ll choose the best color for me. Sounds egocentric.
- First, I’ll choose the color that’s best for me. Is it obvious that this is meant as an instruction?
- A good place to start is with color choice. Perfect! Except that color choice is the only place to start…hrmm
I go on and on like this. Any script, nay, any line in my script is subject to revision after revision. I only hope that each permutation is bringing me closer to acceptable. Or closer to acceptability. Or closer to an acceptable outcome? output? script? …closer to a finished product that I’m satisfied with and that my audience will accept.
I’m hopeful that I’ll get better at writing with time and practice. I’m hopeful that my writing will improve with enough practice.
I’m hopeful that with enough practice, my writing will improve.
My only hope and eventual goal is that with enough practice and hard work on my part, the quality of my writing will continue to improve moving forward.