5 reasons why text is better than video

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Video content is taking over the world, or so we’re told. Text is old-school — video stands out and people share it. So who needs to learn to write? You do. If you think the future of communications is video, you’re way off. Here are five reasons why, for nearly every communication you’re planning, text … Continued

Why you should read Academia Obscura instead of actually working

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Instead of actually completing his Ph.D., Glen Wright has wasted his time writing a book called Academia Obscura: The hidden silly side of higher education. The result of this effort is to reveal in a funhouse mirror every possible idiotic and ironic aspect of academic life and publishing. I heartily recommend that you waste your money on … Continued

Art and craft

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Here are a few words on what it feels to successfully create art, and why we can never really understand it. This weekend I attended “The Fabrication of Imagination,” a show put on by the Arts League of Lowell, Massachusetts. The people there were fascinating. I met Judith Wombwell, an artist originally trained as a choreographer … Continued

6 ways that clear writing clarifies muddy thinking

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There is so much blather that passes for thinking these days. If you imagine that you have a good argument, write about it. You’ll make it far stronger (or maybe figure out that you were wrong). I don’t care if your thesis is “Rex Tillerson is the best secretary of state in decades,” “Landscape architecture … Continued

Editor, writing coach, sensei

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The editor’s job is to fix pieces of writing. The writing coach explains how to write better. But writers who wish to be better need more. They need a sensei who will teach them writing through observation and editing. Only through writing and correction can you truly improve. Let’s look at what editors and coaches do, and what I … Continued

For me, writing is about maximizing happiness, not income

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I just want to write for the rest of my life. Is that so much to ask? Despite my training as a mathematician, my first job was as a writer. I’ve written everything but fiction: software manuals, online help files, newsletters, press releases, interactive tutorials, books, newsletters, reports, articles, proposals, ads, memos, emails, speeches, blog … Continued

What’s your second skill?

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What’s your skill? Good with people, good with words? Good for you. But what could you do with a second skill? Great coders are in demand — but there are a lot of them. Writers graduate from college and swarm like ants across the job market. You need one great skill. But one is no longer enough. First off, demand … Continued