Creating Content Driving You Crazy? Here’s How to Write Both Fast and Well (Pt 1)

Stressed-out woman on couch with laptop

(Also published at Huffington Post.) Compared to our pre-digital forebears, we're expected to produce torrents of writing: emails, text messages, blog posts, social media, presentations.

That's because publishing all that stuff is easier than ever. The trouble is, the actual writing isn't -- especially if you care about quality.

"Easy reading is damn hard writing," as Nathaniel Hawthorne said.

So how to write both fast and well?

Inspiration on the Fly


Here's a great new tool for us creatives - Palettab - available as a Chrome extension. It works like this: Everytime you open a new tab in Chrome,  a new combination of color palette and fonts appears in the browser window. If you see a color you like, simply click, and the hex number is copied to your clipboard. All the fonts are available via Google fonts. Simple to install, really easy use, find it here: Palettab

How to get a designer's best work for a logo, website, ad - anything


A long time ago, I had to learn from scratch how to manage visual designers, after having started out as a composer and audio producer, with no training in graphic arts -- back then I thought of it as "the blind leading the deaf."

Luckily, I found that most of the skills I'd developed while working with sound carried over to other disciplines, too. There's one skill above all that I believe managers need to master in order to get the best work from a designer or any creative professional:

Talk about why, not how.

Leadership Lessons from Obama for America's COO

Spencer Critchley

Last week I was in Washington, DC for a couple of days, connecting with old political friends -- and one new one. The new one turned out to have some very interesting things to say about leadership, from a unique perspective: playing a key role in assembling Barack Obama's first presidential campaign (this is not to say that the old friends weren't very interesting, too).

While Henry DeSio was serving as the Chief Operating Officer of Obama For America 2008, I was on the ground working on communications teams in battleground states. I never met him back then, but I'm glad I have now. He's working on a book about his experiences, and the lessons that can be drawn from them.

A great hashtag, doing good: #ReplaceBikeWithCar

Satire is great. It allows us to critique and discuss topics too challenging to confront directly. Whether it's Mr Swift's Irish baby pie recipe or Mr Colbert's staunch idealization of Bill O'Riley, satire is the tried and true tool of political humor. To that end, last week the meme #ReplaceBikeWithCar was born. To contrast the often, but overlooked danger and detractors of cars, with the inherent, but much maligned safer, slower, and more efficient bicycles, folks took to Twitter.

How Open Should We Be?

People seem to either love or hate the open office concept. Once hailed as a sign of modern hipness, it's now sometimes called intrusive and non-conducive to productive work. It seems that instead of maximizing collaboration, the open office sometimes just provides interruptions and distractions. At least that's what Jason Feifer thinks, in his article Offices for All!


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