What types of pain resonate with writers?

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I delivered my Writing Without Bullshit workshop and seminar this morning to 72 people at the Content Marketing Conference. When you are in front of an audience, you can immediately tell what resonates — you hear laughter, see heads nodding, and hear a warm murmur of sympathy. So what resonated with these writers? “81% of … Continued

Professors and parents: arm your students with “Writing Without Bullshit”

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If your high school or college students are about to go back to school, put a copy of “Writing Without Bullshit” in their schoolbags. (Assuming, of course, that your school isn’t offended by a little plain language.) It’s the perfect antidote to the outdated and ossified methods so many writing teachers use. Start them off … Continued

How this guy actually got a job by writing without bullshit

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Authors don’t hear from readers that much. It’s usually “there’s a typo on page 116.” But every once in a while, we get something that reveals that our work actually matters. Here’s what Alex from Amsterdam sent me in an email: Mr. Bernoff, I want to send a letter and give my sincere thanks for the insights … Continued

Harper’s magazine says I’m a bullshitter. Judge for yourself.

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In the March 2017 issue of Harper’s Magazine, Nat Segnit calls me a hypocrite. Now that I’ve studied truth, lies, and bullshit, it’s clear to me that everybody is a hypocrite. So let’s see if he’s got a point. In an article called “Good Plain English: The Problem with Writing Manuals,” Segnit reviews six writing books, including Soul at … Continued

10 easy New Year’s resolutions for writers in 2017

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Want to write better? Change a writing habit. Here are ten ways to be a better writer: pick one, then stick with it. (Tell me which one you picked in the comments.) 1. Stop sending first-draft emails. Most of what you write is email. While it creates the biggest impression in aggregate, you’re not spending … Continued

Require my book for your students, and I’ll Skype into your class

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Dear Professor: If you’re teaching writing in 2017, consider requiring Writing Without Bullshit as a textbook. Here’s why (plus a special offer to push you over the edge): In 2017, your students ought to have a writing book that acknowledges that writing must be different for those who read on screens. It uses modern real-world examples. It addresses … Continued

Change how you write. It’s not that hard. And it’s worth it.

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The main competition for my book Writing Without Bullshit is not another book. It’s inertia. It’s easier to do nothing. But the changes I’ve suggested aren’t that hard to do, and they make a big difference. The changes are simple and well-defined Here’s what the book says you should change, in a nutshell: Write shorter, and … Continued