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My takeaway

Make sure your writing is clear, useful, and friendly. Writing is important because your words affect the way people feel. Keep your writing close to the way you speak and give it a human touch.

My notes

These are my informal notes from Nicely Said. It contains a mix of key highlights as well as my own thoughts and lessons.

  • Language is powerful. Your words can make people feel happy, sad, frustrated, proud, and everything in between. So whether or not “writer” is in your title, your writing is important.
  • Good content is clear, useful, and friendly. It helps you work toward your goals and speaks directly to your readers.
  • Writing good content is hard work—and not all of it happens on the page or on the screen.
  • If you’re writing about something you love, think about why it matters to you and how it helps other people.
  • Start every project the same way: Do your research, and then clarify what you want to accomplish and how your content can advance that goal.
  • Modular writing lets you focus on one concept at a time and reshuffle things when you need to.
  • Good writing is clear, useful, and friendly.
  • Use short, simple words.
  • Keep your writing as close to speech as possible. One way to do that is to read your work aloud and see if it sounds like you.
  • Cover one idea at a time. If you need to include secondary information, try linking to it instead of summarizing or repeating yourself.
  • Use the imperative when it’s appropriate. Talk to your readers, not at them.
  • As you’re working on each sentence, make sure the writing is sincere.
  • The words you choose affect how people relate to you and define your relationships.
  • Writing is a process, and like anything worth doing, it takes time.
  • Before you publish anything, get into the habit of asking yourself, “Does this sound like me?”
  • Look for ways to give your writing a human touch.