David Perell

David Perell quotes on clarity

"The Writing Guy". He tweet about business, online learning, and Internet writing.

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Try to sound smart and your writing won’t be clear. Try to write clearly and you will sound smart. Write to express, not to impress.


My philosophy of writing: • Write every day. • Write in public to improve the quality of your thinking. • Write for clarity, not to impress people. • Write about your curiosities. You don’t need to be an expert. • Write for the most intelligent person you know.


Most people are bad writers, but excellent text messagers. Their writing is bad because they try to sound smart once they open Microsoft Word. But when they text, they write with clarity and enthusiasm. If you’re stuck, write like you’re sending an important text message.


Easy way to structure your writing. Start by writing down five things: 1) A one-sentence summary 2) First sentence 3) Opening message 4) Concluding message 5) Last sentence As you edit, make sure every idea relates to all five elements. Readers will thank you for your clarity.


Checklist for online writing: • Remove every unnecessary word • Focus on clarity, not cleverness • If a sentence bores your reader, delete it • Make your reader smarter • Treat every word like it’s on trial for its life • Write like you’re talking to a friend at a bar


If you don’t think you’re a good writer, I have three recommendations for you: 1) Write for clarity, not to impress people. 2) Start taking notes: Writing is easier when you save your ideas. 3) Nail the basics: Shorten your sentences and write like you’re talking to a friend.


Rule for communication: Shorten your introduction. Shorter introductions will improve your emails. Shorter introductions will improve your essays. Shorter introductions will improve your speeches. Get to the point.


When you edit your sentences, remember the acronym CLEAR. 1) Connect to the previous sentence. 2) Link to the following sentence. 3) Eliminate anything that adds confusion. 4) Add colorful details. 5) Remove unnecessary words. Make your writing CLEAR — one sentence at a time.


Write for clarity, not to impress people. The quality of your writing will skyrocket once you stop trying to sound smart.


Writing education falls into two buckets: 1. Analyzing literature and writing 5-paragraph essays. 2. Communicating ideas in clear, simple and convincing ways. Schools focus on Bucket #1 at the expense of Bucket #2 because; Writing education is shaped by PhD English programs.


Write before you're an expert on a subject. Writing forces you to clarify your ideas and motivates you to accelerate your learning. By sharing what you learn, you'll attract experts who will share their knowledge with you. The more you publish, the faster you'll learn.


Want to improve your writing skills? My unconventional advice: Skip the usual books and learn copywriting. Copywriters write with clarity and simplicity. No fluff. They get straight to the point. Strong recommend.


Meetings are too easy to create. When you add up employee salaries, they cost hundreds of dollars per hour. People should have to pitch big meetings. They should write detailed memos that show effort and clarity of thought. The meeting only happens if the pitch is good.


Write to express, not to impress. One idea per sentence, one idea per paragraph. Resist the urge to create complexity by using big words and long sentences like the one I'm typing right now which is getting too long, so it's confusing. Be clear. Be simple. Aim for clarity.


Most academic writing is bad, so most writing teachers teach you how to write poorly. Good writing is communicating interesting ideas clearly and concisely. It’s that simple.

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