On writing

Every now and then I find something insightful on HackerNews. I usually don’t share this, and store them as snippets for myself, but this is something that does seem generally useful:

(original source here, builds on a post here)

“Tips on making writing more fun”

  • Make it a story. If you are writing about an application framework, use an example application and make it something real (a todo app, a real estate search app, something you have personal experience with).
  • Link to your other stuff. He has a good point about sidebars (don’t do it), but if you have written about something tangential previously, links are a nice way to avoid that. Works for pointing to other people’s work as well.
  • Just ship it. He alludes to this in the last point, but seriously, the perfect blog post that never is published is 100% worse than the 80% done blog post.
  • Remember that while you are obsessing over everything, your reader likely isn’t (obsessing). Recall how closely you read this article? That is how closely most readers will read anything you publish.
  • Start with the end in mind (the title and the conclusion should be related and the thread should run through it).
  • “Kill your darlings”. If something doesn’t fit, no matter how interesting or witty it is, copy it off to some other doc (possibly for another article). Or delete it. Either way, remove it from your piece.

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