Writing Tips

Writing is hard, so here's a few tips to make it easier

On Writer's Block

There are three tips we would like to share to help you if you are stuck.

  • Everyone has interesting thoughts in their heads, including (and sometimes, especially) the people who think otherwise. Jotto is an internal tool. It is a safe space. You are not parading in front of the world. You are just sharing thoughts with your team. Don't agonize. Ship it!
  • In the case of more complex concepts and stories, don't try to mush research, writing, and editing into one process. It is too easy to get bogged down. Break 'em up.
  • Anyone can write if you just follow author Josh Seiden's three-step process:
    1. Find a place where you can sit without interruption for 20 minutes;
    2. set a timer for 20 minutes;
    3. Start writing and don't stop until the timer is done.

Writing Tips

On Good Writing

Author and award-winning editor George Constable boils good writing down to two principles:

  • don't confuse the reader
  • don't bore the reader

Now let's break those two points down:

Where does confusion come from?

  • Jamming too many thoughts together.
  • Saying things indirectly.
  • Using obscure terms.
  • Failing to establish clear connections between thoughts or topics.

How to not bore the reader?

  • Don't use more words than you need to, and don't ramble.
  • Favor active verbs over "it is" and "there were."
  • Vary sentence rhythm and length.
  • Don't use big words when small ones will do.
  • Write like you talk, and avoid formal language.
  • Remember, good writing does not have to be long and it doesn't have to be fancy.

Image Credits: Lukas Blazek