Category: Better Writing

The Writer as Action Hero

  |   Better Writing

My friend Jim wanted to be a writer. He took writing courses. He bought books about writing. He planned several projects. The problem was, he never actually wrote anything. You probably know somebody like that. They seem to love everything about writing except the writing itself. Writers who succeed are action heroes. They  »  Read More

Business Authors: Don’t Write Like a Writer

  |   Better Writing

“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” Elmore Leonard said that in his Ten Rules of Writing. It was so important that Leonard didn’t give it a number. He said it’s the advice that sums up his other rules. Maybe our English teachers convinced us that good writing was fancy. Maybe we think fancy writing will  »  Read More

Read a Lot to Learn to Write Well

  |   Better Writing

It’s obvious that you should write a lot if you want to become a good writer. What’s not so obvious is that you should also read a lot. Reading is how you develop mental models of what good writing looks and sounds like. If you want to improve faster, go beyond just reading and read and learn intentionally. Don’t  »  Read More

Should you buy that nifty writing software?

  |   Better Writing

My clients are mid-career professionals who want to write a book to improve their reputation. They are often tempted to buy a piece of sophisticated writing software to help them with this new endeavor. Henry Thoreau said, “beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.” I feel the same way about writing projects  »  Read More

There is No Magic to Learning to Write Well

  |   Better Writing

We went on a trip with some friends this weekend. While my friend was checking us in at our hotel, I got to talking with the young man who had custody of our luggage on a giant cart. In the course of conversation, he told me that he wanted to be a writer. He asked what he should do. When I told him, his face  »  Read More

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