Integrated2019 #iPDX19

How to Write

Stuff People will read

This is an active writing workshop for the IntegratED 2019 conference in Portland, Oregon.

Thursday, February 21 at 2:30 p.m., in the St Helens Lobby.

 

 

Themes

Purpose
Design
Words
Method
Timing

Activities

What Do I Write?
Four Design Principles
Fixer Upper
Extra! Read All About It!
Fashionably Late

Introduction

It was a dark and stormy night…. Wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah     ….

I bet we have all received an email—or two—that looks something like this. They may be easy to write—see Mark Twain—but, they are not easy to read. We’ll work together to fix that today.

I’ve broken this session into five themes, with five corresponding activities. We’ll move through them quickly for this 90-minute session.

You can revisit this web post and the session slide deck as often you like once our face-to-face time ends. Happy writing!

Purpose

What do you write? Let’s take ten minutes to meet our neighbors and inventory writing tasks we complete in an average week.

Design

Robin Williams—not that Robin Williams, although he was magical, too—saved my writing life a couple decades ago. For the next 15 minutes, we’ll review her four elements of design that help people read our writing.

Words

The Elements of Style is still stylish, today. We’re going to revise a handful of fixer-upper emails in this segment.

Method

We’re moving from theory to tactical now. Let’s map tools to needs and develop a “smart person’s guide” to communicating with our community.

Timing

For our last activity, we’ll talk about the cycles of communication. And why it’s okay sometimes to be fashionably late. 

Session Sources

  • The Elements of Style, by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White
  • The Non-Designer’s Design Book, by Robin Williams
  • Everybody Writes, by Ann Handley
  • Nicely Said, by Nicole Fenton and Kate Kiefer Lee

 

Inspiration

Bud Hunt, Luke Neff, Nicole Carter, Miss Aishe—my ninth-grade English teacher—and thoughtful writers around the globe.

Stop Here

 

Think about the medium for your message at the times you have more than three important things.

Can you change the medium?

Or is it better to change the message?

opportunity cost

This is a writing session, but we’re going to spend a moment on economics first, especially the concept of opportunity cost.

Opportunity cost is about choices. When you decide something, there is usually a cost involved, whether that’s the actual cost of the thing or the value of the other thing (the one you didn’t choose). The opportunity cost of email is approaching zero. For the sender. My thesis is the cost is borne by the reader. I keep that thesis present as I create newsletters, presentations, school closing announcements, and email.

Emails Sent Daily

Cups of Coffee Sold Daily

have a question or idea?

Send me a note!

Thanks for attending today’s session.

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