August 13, 2008

Write to be read

Last week, 37signals Live debut: two of the company’s members, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier, fielded a large array of streaming questions from viewers. One notable talking point was Jason’s emphasis on good writing—at least the kind of writing that’s done with sensitivity to clarity and meaning. Editing is an important part of this process.

Blogs are good for splurging thoughts onto the virtual canvas. There’s value in this because it satisfies a spontaneous approach to writing, but a more methodical approach appeals to me. In my starter entry, I likened my determination toward sustaining this blog to that of slow cooking. This continues to be the case. With the tempo of blog-writing comes the quality of writing. Jason’s advice of “Write to be read” is a tall order which goes beyond writing for a medium. It entails good intentions coupled with good craft, per my view.

Most of the entries I’ve written have been reviewed by an editor. In addition to befriending a photographer, an equally great addition to one’s professional circle is a professional editor. I compose when an idea strikes and my editor, Silvia Fernandez, critiques and adjusts what I’ve drafted. Sure, this delays publishing. But the fast release that blogs may compel doesn’t matter to me. It was my intent from the start to make each entry as sensibly written as possible. Another benefit is the learning exchanged between my editor and me.

Words are one of our best natural resources. “Write to be read” means using them with honesty, a sense of economy and having fun communicating whatever you embrace as subject matter.