Trademarks in books and other prose: how to mark and when to claim them

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Trademarks confuse writers. Here are some tips on how to address trademarks in prose — and whether you ought to protect your own special names for things with them. Start with this: I’m not a lawyer. I hope you find this helpful — it’s based on decades of experience as a writer — but if … Continued

Time to concentrate

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It’s hard to concentrate right now. If you are working at home (as I have been for the last five years), you may have to deal with noise from neighbors, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and people cutting down trees. You may have children at home who need attention. You may have others in the house … Continued

Collaborating on research: the value of multiple perspectives

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Two or three researchers can do better than one. Here’s how to take advantage of that. For the purposes of this post, I’m talking about Web research that informs writing, whether that’s an article, a book, a white paper, or an internal document. Even if you’re doing actual primary research, such a survey or interviews, … Continued

On fat outlines and shitty first drafts

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The idea that you would just sit down and write a beautiful draft is deluded. The best writers do this on the best days; you, on the other hand, have to work even when you are not the best writer and it is not the best day. You can solve this my way — with … Continued

Using PowerPoint and 3 monitors to deliver a video workshop

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For a workshop delivered by video with PowerPoint, using three monitors creates a powerful advantage. I’ll share what I’ve learned from delivering video-based writing workshops to people connecting from their homes. (Note: if you’ve arrived here to solve a technical problem regarding PowerPoint Presenter View, skip to “Resolving a technical issue with PowerPoint Presenter View … Continued

Writing backward and forward

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There are two challenges with writing anything — flow and impact. The flow problem is this: does each sentence lead into the next, and each paragraph lead into the next, in a way that draws the reader along? The impact problem is this: does the piece take you with ironclad logic to a place where … Continued

Edit yourself. It’s cheaper and it makes you smarter.

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You wrote something. It’s not the best it can be. You could hire an editor. Or you could fix it yourself. Sure, if you can’t really figure out what you’re saying, you might need outside help. But before you do, try these tricks: Make sentences shorter. Find sentences of more than 20 words. Break them … Continued

20 insights from an analyst writing marketing copy

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I am writing a lot of marketing copy lately. I’ve noticed some things you might find helpful. Here’s what I’m currently writing and editing: Marketing description for a book on management. Marketing description for a book on the future of transportation. Articles about corporate AI strategy for an author. Blog posts announcing an AI-focused startup. … Continued