On Writing Well

On Writing Well by William Zinsser is one of the best books on writing I’ve ever read. It’s the kind of practical, no-bullshit approach to writing I love reading.

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Where Do Ideas Come From?

I get ideas at the most inconvenient times. An idea rarely shows up when I’m sitting in front of my computer, freshly caffeinated, text editor at the ready, with enough free time on my hands to flesh out the idea, and save it for later.

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The Mother Tongue

The Mother Tongue by Bill Bryson wasn’t the book I thought it was going to be. I found it on a listicle late last year, as I was skulking around the internet, looking for books about writing.

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The Tipping Point

The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell is about why ideas spread. Why teen smoking continues to rise, despite vigorous anti-smoking campaigns. Why cracking down on graffiti and fare jumping in New York City lead to a steep decline in violent crime. Why Airwalks were everywhere for a few years in the mid-90s, and why their popularity died off.

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Letting Go of the Words

I finished reading Letting Go of the Words by Ginny Redish this week. Redish is a usability and communications expert, and this book takes a shotgun approach to writing good, usable content for the web. I don’t say this to be disparaging. As any of my friends can tell you, I’m a big fan of shotguns. She covers everything from organizing content in a way that makes it easy for readers to scan, to ways to improve your site for usability, to some basic tips on SEO.

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The Art of Fiction

I finished up The Art of Fiction: Notes on Craft for Young Writers by John Gardner earlier this week. As I read, I felt those horrible wheels turning in my Underbrain, and several times I stopped reading to take notes on something I wanted to write. The surest sign that I’m reading something worth reading is how easy that book is to put down, jump up and get my hands dirty. My hands were filthy by the time I finished The Art of Fiction.

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April Wrap Up

I’ve not been looking forward to writing this wrap up post. My current system of blogging once a month about the books I’ve read isn’t ideal. I’m not writing well about what I’ve read, even though I’ve been taking notes and sending myself email reminders for points I want to make in my wrap up post.

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March Wrap Up

There’s something about the third month of any new system I try that often proves to be the failing point. I tend to lose motivation around month 3. My famous enthusiasm wanes, and I get bored. I move on to something else. I stop caring as much.

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Everything is Material

I’m reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, and this quote rang true enough I had to jump up and write about it.

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What I Did in February; or, The Nightmare of Copy Editing

I came out of February having read three more books, written thousands of words, and with a new discovery about the trouble I have editing my work.

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I'm Tyler, and I blog about marketing, programming, writing, and things I'm working on.

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