Writing Is Thinking

by Sally Kerrigan

24 Reader Comments

Back to the Article
  1. TL;DR.

    Ha, that would be an ironic answers, wouldn’t it?
    The main problem, at least for me, is that you may think a lot but usually you don’t have the time to write.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  2. Great read and great advices which might help me a lot in 2014; having decided to write more.

    I usually get stuck with my toolset, wondering which editor to write in (iA Writer, Scrivener, Ulysses, vim, Evernote…) and how/where to publish it once I finished writing (Tumbr, WordPress, Jekyll…). So all too often I got so stuck that I lost interest to write down the idea which I initially found to be great.

    However in order to get to “good writing” and to get all grammatical tenses all lined up, can you recommend some Book/Site/Cheatsheet that might help with that? It’s been a while since school.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  3. @Nils

    I find this book to be immensely helpful.

    And for grammar.

    Not that I’m a successful thinker/writer, but it’s been a goal of mine. In addition to this great ALA article, Paul Graham has written a very nice essay about essays.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  4. Thank you @draftwerk for encouraging our friends in the industry to write and write more. This especially pushes me to write about the things I care about.

    @Nils Thanks for recommending the book.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  5. Good piece of writing here. The two things that I would like to add:
    1. A good piece of writing should not be about how cleverly it is written. After I read the writing, does the reader go – “Aha. Gotcha.”
    2. It is not about the inspiration or the writing tool (editor, OS etc), it is about getting your butt-in-seat and starting as Sally very rightly points out.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  6. Yes. Yes. Yes.

    For the past couple of years I’ve found myself getting better at writing. Why? Because I’m writing more, reading more, and reading about writing more. I became more critical with what I do, write out a full draft, then close it for a few days, a few weeks, or a few months.

    Forgetting about what I’d written allowed me to come at my words with a different attitude. I didn’t worry about tearing it to shreds, rewriting sentences, reorganising the entire article, etc. And my articles are better for it.

    I urge everybody to read George Orwell’s essay ‘Politics and the English Language’ – https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/orwell46.htm. It taught me to be direct with my writing, and it’s what a lot of writers get wrong. They think it’s good to fill articles with adverbs and simile when it’d be easier to absorb if they just wrote what they mean.

    I’m rambling.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  7. Great piece.

    (Puts head down. Opens Editorially.)

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  8. This is a great article with some brilliant advice, thanks!

    It’s one of my aims for this year too to write more and I’ve taken to showing drafts to my friends and peers for review before I post anything – it does help to get feedback from as many people as possible, including technical and non technical readers.

    I’m even more encouraged now! Best get writing…

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  9. Great advice! Having started blogging just a few months ago, I can personally attest that it is definitely worth the effort. In addition to improving my communication skills, I noticed that writing helps me learn a lot more about a topic than I otherwise would simply because of the need to sit down and think things through. And having written about something, I find myself better prepared to then discuss it with others in a more articulate manner.

    I now even find myself writing whenever I need to think about something in greater depth. I don’t know why, but there is something about writing out your thoughts that leads to “better” thinking.

    So if you’re someone who’s considering jumping into the world of blogging, all I can say is “go for it!” You won’t regret it.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  10. Thanks for this great article! It really made me rethink my editorial process!

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  11. Great article. Thank you.

    I myself just submitted my first proposal/outline for an article I want to write for A List Apart. This was very helpful.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  12. Great article; totally encouraging. Thanks for this!

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  13. Thank you for reminding me that I have a user manual to write.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  14. Great article. So much great advice. Thank you.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  15. Beginning sentences with And and Or. I never thought that was possible.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  16. As a former writing teacher and current internet marketer, I really appreciate a good piece of writing. Thank you so much for putting this article together, encouraging people to take time to produce quality content.

    This is something I sometimes have to work on with my clients, as they are often too busy or not experiences enough to write thought-out copy for their blogs.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  17. Nuts + bolts + encouragement = win.

    Thank you for writing this!

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  18. It’s nice to read all the way to the end of an article and to not feel like it was a waste of time. So often the way we use the internet means that we are on pages for a matter of seconds before getting the information we need and then moving on. It’s articles like this that remind me how to appreciate great content. Thank you.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  19. @Nils Riedemann You might also want to consider grabbing a copy of this.

    I can highly recommend it.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  20. Bad link for the recommended book on grammar. I also recommend Strunk & White – this little book has saved me for years.

    To write conversationally, it is helpful to consider what you’re writing a conversation between you and someone you can visualize clearly. As you reach to explain your ideas to this person in your head, it can help make your thinking clearer to your inner editor.

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  21. Some of your words remainded me of the fieldstone method… that is a nice to have book. Thanks for your writing! Hope to get my hands dirty soon…

    http://www.amazon.com/Weinberg-Writing-The-Fieldstone-Method/dp/093263365X

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  22. Great insight and advice.  Now that I am feeling slightly more relaxed about ‘writing’, I am pretty much freaking out about ‘thinking’!  I mean, how do I cultivate blog worthy thoughts amongst all this mess here in my head? Could you address the anxiety of the artist, frozen by comparing oneself to the brilliant other creatives out there?  Um, or recommend a good therapist for the would be blogger?

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  23. They way you write this article is really awsome ! Thanks for sharing such nice information here on the web … Press Release Distribution

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.
  24. I’m really trying to get back into writing and this article is REALLY helpful. Looking forward to putting some of this to good use, as my first couple of recent tries aren’t up to the standard I want. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

    Copy & paste the code below to embed this comment.