Review: “Everybody Writes”

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content

I liked how this book focused on the importance of writing with empathy for your audience. It establishes that the purpose of all writing is the successful communication of ideas. Anything in the text that is not there for the reader can otherwise only be there for the author and can be removed.

Outside of content authoring, the book served as a good refresher for general writing tips for clarity and brevity. I’ve already found myself identifying areas in my writing that I can simplify and improve.

The latter third of the book was a little more focused on the brutal specifics of online marketing in the internet age; source attribution, intellectual property theft, content strategy, and SEO. I didn’t devote as much of my attention to this section, though the rest of the book impressed me enough that I may come back to it in the future for a real dive into those topics.

I have a few goals for this site:

Project Logging

I want to keep track of any personal projects I’m working on. At the moment at least, that can include software projects, artistic ventures (web design, typography experiments, game design, doodles) or personal improvement projects (habit and skills development).

Writing Practice

It’s been a few years since I’ve been required to regularly write prose or long-form text of any kind, and it was never a habit I kept regularly on my own. I want to practice my written communication and technical writing skills, and spending more time on it seems like a great way to do that. I’ve picked up a copy of The Art of Plain Talk and hope to start reading it soon.

Demo Space

I haven’t maintained a real demo space in a while, in part because I haven’t built anything worth demoing. Related to the Project Logging goal, I want to treat this site like an archive for a lot of real code and demos.

I’m busy. 

I’m officially starting up a website again, this time with the hopeful goal that I can use it to organize my thoughts and time. Right now I have, in no particular order, the following ongoing occupations:

  • A game prototype I’m reviving that I’ve been jumping in and out of for years
  • Two incoming web projects
  • A new, unfamiliar phase of responsibility at work that’s taking time after hours to get right 
  • A project at work to organize some documentation that existed previously only in my head, so I don’t have to stand with my finger in the dam until I die
  • Two upcoming family trips out of state this summer
  • Managing daily reading, educational and cleaning goals