To write better, stop writing.

Start reading.  No, not blogs and magazines. Books.  Real books.  See how the greats used words and told stories.  Where to start?  The New York Times Book Review gives you about the best list in the world.  Just go to the tables in the back and download a few samples from Amazon.  Free.  Or just start with these:  George Saunders’ Persuasion Nation.  You’ve never read anything like this nut.  Ernest Hemingway’s The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.  Okay, it’s not a book.  It’s just one story.  One story.   Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood.  A mystery wrapped in pure evil in a town where nothing ever happens.  Juno Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.  The land of the free and home of the trapped.
For most writers, investing in reading goes without saying.  If that’s not where you are, the writing could be so much easier for you if you just stopped.  And read.


David Fowler created long-running advertising campaigns for Motel 6 ("We'll leave the light on for you"), BP ("Beyond Petroleum"), Fanta ("Wanta Fanta"), Claritin ("Claritin Clear") and many others. His forty-year creative career included twenty years at Ogilvy & Mather in New York, as well as stints at Goodby, Silverstein in San Francisco, Ammirati & Puris in New York and The Richards Group in Dallas.