I Want to Write More

#work 2 min.

I like to write.

Well, that’s not exactly true. I enjoy having written. Writing itself feels weird even on the best days. I know that even the greats have struggled with this, but that doesn’t make it any easier in the moment.

I’ve read a few books on writing: On Writing by Stephen King, The Elements of Style, and, of all things, The Economist Style Guide.

These books teach how to tune your writing skills and style to get your ideas across.

This implies that outstanding writers don’t just have better ideas. They have better systems to get ideas on the page, faster.

This is my attempt to make such a system for myself.

Narrow down all possibilities to a very limited, but useful set of principles.

Then practice those principles until either you discover better ones or achieve mastery.

Disclaimer: I’m in no way qualified to teach anyone about writing, but since you’ve read this far…

  1. Make it personal.
  2. Strong opinions, weakly held are more interesting to read than the opposite.
  3. When in doubt, leave it out.
  4. Do not explain everything. Leaving something up for (mis) interpretation engages the reader.
  5. Short sentences are better.
  6. No big words. You’re not a native speaker and neither are most of your readers.
  7. Inspiration doesn’t last, so make the most of it. Losing some sleep to write your first draft is OK.
  8. Write in the evenings. Edit in the mornings. Keep the two separate.
  9. Stop writing before you run out of words.
  10. Publish before it’s ready. Ideally, as soon as it’s not completely embarrassing.

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Est. 2011