Given that I have been writing three decades, including eighteen-plus years a blogger, I am hardly surprised that I am repeatedly asked: how should I write? And my answer is always the same — write like a human.
We are getting buried under freeze-dried news reports and hot takes that make supermarket baloney feel like a prime cut. Everything feels like a faded facsimile of everything else. It is the internet equivalent of the same strip mall mediocrity.
So that is why I say. Be real. Write like a person. That is how your words will be unique because only you can be you.
Your writing should reflect your thinking. You don’t need to become someone else. You have to look no further than inwards to find your words and your writing style.
Your writing should have the same compassion you have when you speak and communicate with those you love and respect. Compassion always translates into civility. It shows that you care.
If you are rude to your partner or co-workers, your writing will reflect that. You can’t hide behind fancy words.
To write, and write well, you don’t need to use fancy words. As Jack Kerouac once wrote, “One day, I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”
The person I think does a great job of writing well and being human is Abby Gardner — I love her newsletter. I wait for it. And when it doesn’t arrive due to spam gods having a snit, I feel sad.
Because she writes like a human. Her words feel real.
Hell, Abby’s over the top enthusiasm for Taylor Swift made me listen to her new album.
I am listening to Nils Frahm. He is so good. So is Abby’s newsletter. You should sign-up for it — it is about her take on popular culture.
After you read it, you will understand what I mean when I say, write like a human.
July 29, 2020. San Francisco
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