In defense of ruthless editing

Continued">

I edit smart people. And I don’t pull punches. If your writing has a problem, I’m going to tell you about it. One of my writer clients recently posted some of my editorial comments on Facebook, so everyone could see how, ahem, “direct” I was. He called me “ruthlessly encouraging.” This guy is writing a … Continued

Why your document is a terrible mess

Continued">

Here’s what went wrong. You started with a good idea. Then you showed it to someone. She told you it needed something more. So you added it. You sent it out for review. Your reviewers all suggested adding and changing things. They’re important and powerful people, so you did. The technical people insisted you include … Continued

Four steps that enable you to write in flow

Continued">

I remember editing people at my last job. I would give them the charge on what to do, and then check back two days later. “How much did you write?” I would ask. “One paragraph,” they’d say. You will never achieve flow that way! Flow is effortless writing. You know how it feels. You sit … Continued

When to break my writing rules

Continued">

My most popular post ever included ten writing tips and the psychology behind them. On social media, I see people reading these tips with no context and objecting. “Passive voice is perfectly fine,” they say, or, “You wouldn’t get very far if you only used short sentences.” You want to break my rules? I’m here … Continued

The power of doubt

Continued">

When you’re making your decisions on a day-to-day basis, how often do you: Know you are right . . . . vs. wonder if you are wrong. See from your own perspective . . . vs. see from someone else’s. Feel certain you can make a deadline . . . vs. doubt if you can … Continued

Why is writing sometimes so hard, and other times so easy?

Continued">

Writing can be a joy or a chore. I thought of this as I saw this tweet from Raul Pacheco-Vega: “I’ve noticed something really funny: I struggle with putting words into paper, up until I reach a point where BOOM, the words just start pouring from my finger tips. Does this happen to you too?” … Continued