Rewrite or self-edit? How to decide without bias


It’s time to revise a previous draft — of a blog post, a report, a book chapter, or any factual content. You’re dealing with feedback from others, or maybe just your own better insights into what you wanted to say. Should you tinker with words — self-editing — or rewrite from scratch? How cognitive biases … Continued

Why students shouldn’t write on a smartphone


If you believe the Boston Globe or the Wall Street Journal, students are increasingly writing papers on their phones. While there are some benefits, teachers ought to discourage it, since it interferes with reflection and promotes a pernicious first-draft writing habit. The articles on this topic are anecdotal Like most trend pieces, both of these articles are … Continued

How to rewrite a book in one day (with sticky notes)


In 2009, Ted Schadler and I had a problem. The back half of our book Empowered wasn’t working. This is how we fixed it. We were nearing the manuscript deadline for Empowered, Ted’s and my book about strategies to deal with empowered consumers and workers. The front half of the book, about consumers (and marketing), was holding together pretty … Continued

The only way to become a better writer

For all my talk about writing, I’ve found that there’s only one way to get better. Practice. Write. Get feedback. Rewrite. Then write something else. Repeat as frequently as possible.