Everybody Writes and Programming
08 March 2023

Everybody writes (Ann Handley) is a lovely book that wants to make you a better writer.

Starting with some fairly obvious tips like write everyday and focus on the reader. Moving onto less obvious ideas like delete the first paragraph and see how the text feels. Near the end there are tips on specific areas of writing, from social media to boiler plate text.

It's a good light read, highly recommended.

While not intentional the book has a lot to say about programming. Often the word write can be replaced with code and it be good advice. Giving your code space to breath and make every statement earn it keeps.

Writing should not be about proving how clever you are, instead focus on your reader.

Making things clear by removing complexity.

Writing is harder than programming, at least for me. It requires much more empathy with the reader. It is harder to write unit test for and programmer have better developed tooling to help them.

Programming at it's core is logic, it can be easy to ignore it is also communication. Reading everybody writes from that perspective was a fascinating journey for me. Hopefully I came out the other side as a better writer and an appreciation for writing code as a form of communication.

This is not to say the other components in programming don't matter just that often well written text and code emerge from clarity of thought and a focus on simplifying.