Writing for Designers

As I continue to catch up on the books I’ve bought and have let languish, I read Writing for Designers by Scott Kubie last week. I really like the A Book Apart Briefs because I can sit down and in an hour or two finish a book. Plus there is almost always something for me to think about afterwards.

I don’t do a ton of writing in my work, but I do a lot of writing here and for myself, so I found the way in which Kubie talked about a formal process really interesting. And, unbelievably, I somewhat follow that process when I write for myself. He takes you through initial drafts to the final version with a lot of helpful advice about how to go about writing and editing along the way. The most helpful I found was how to document changes and to make sure you document your process so you have detailed notes to back up the decisions made when sharing the final product.

But I also like the way in which Kubie talks about writing being difficult and a lot of the ideas he gives to help you figure it all out, to get started, to tackle editing, and for working in groups as you polish and work towards finished copy. I’ll definitely recommend this one to folks who find themselves suddenly having to do more writing in their work, especially if it isn’t their speciality.

A few highlights that struck me as I read.

Writing is hard because it’s personal. Even if you’re writing about something you don’t feel strongly about, or even something you disagree with, it’s still your writing. The words you write carry a little echo of you. To get the writing done, you’re going to have to be a little vulnerable. Maybe a lot.

…[W]riting is just thinking plus typing. You can think. You can type (or otherwise get text into a computer). So yes, you can write.