Kottke: On Margins

Related to the recent theme of running your own website, Craig Mod interviews Jason Kottke on the latest episode of On Margins*. Craig’s podcast is focused on books, but he interviewed Jason on the premise that his hundreds of thousands of words published on his site over 20 years is several books worth. And God bless Craig for providing a transcript of each episode!A lot of the interview is only tangentially related to the theme I’ve been harping on lately. But there are some golden words spoken towards the end of the interview about running your own…

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A few notes on daily blogging

Austin Kleon posted this last year and it’s worth revisiting. He shared what led him back to writing more regularly, then the results. It was a success and he lists multiple reasons why. This one resonates with me: I had forgotten how wonderful blogging is as a mode of thinking. Blogging is, for me, more about discovering what I have to say, and tweeting more about having a thought, then saying it the right way. It’s also great to be able to go as long or as short as you want to go.This kind of post gets…

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Getting more from Ulysses

Shawn Blanc his team have been working on a course for helping people get the most out of Ulysses. Seeing Shawn’s posts had me reviewing my own usage: he touches on a few items I was either not aware of or had never thought to try. Once he shared that he’d be building this course, I finally took the time to dig into the features in Ulysses that have been peripheral to my usage. The biggest gap was my lack of understanding of the different methods for adding to your primary content. There are four content types to…

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Becoming better writers

This one is an interesting link. It’s not to an article, but rather to a response to a response. Jason Fried wrote about why Basecamp does not conduct status meetings, then followed up on several responses to his post. This one stuck out to me, as he followed up to a person who stated, “Some of us just are not that good at writing stuff down.” His reply: It’s worth working on becoming a better writer. So much communication these days is written. It doesn’t matter if it’s chat or longform — if you can’t communicate…

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10 productivity lessons I learned writing an 80,000-word book in 6 months

Listicle alert! Not to worry, dear friend: this one is worth a read. Chris Bailey wrote a book and shares a lengthy list of tips as to how his approach(es) to productivity not only helped him write the book, but finish it significantly ahead of schedule. The Coles Notes version: Writing a book is a monster of a project, but projects like it become easier once you make a plan for how to tackle them. When you liberally disconnect from the internet when working on big projects, anticipate obstacles ahead of time, carve out space around them, and stay…

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How to design words

John Saito writes for a living, but his is a unique application. The format he primarily writes for is user interfaces. It’s a format that necessitates a certain type of writing. As he puts it: You see, I mostly write interface text for apps and websites. It’s a style of writing where brevity beats brilliance, and every character counts. Writing interface text is actually a lot like design—designing words for people who hate to read.He then goes on to give some great tips for how to write copy for interfaces. However, these tips can be applied…

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