How to use “Writing Without Bullshit” (infographic)

0-wwbs-cover-largeEighteen months ago, I started working on a book about writing. Today you can buy it, in bookstores or online. Please consider getting a copy, or if you already have one, reviewing it on Amazon or elsewhere.

I designed “Writing Without Bullshit” so you can get a lot out of it. Whether you write emails, reports, Web sites, blog posts, press releases, brochures, or anything else, it will help your career and your confidence.

Here’s why:

  1. It’s serious, but it’s fun. If you read this blog at all, you know I’m a smartass. That’s because humor and snark keep you reading and help you remember. I want you to recognize and laugh at your own quirks, then leave them behind. I dissect actual examples of the absurd bullshit that now passes for business writing to help you see how it comes to be, and how you can rise above it.
  2. It’s easy to dip in and out of. Each chapter is short and pointed. If jargon is troubling you, there’s a chapter for that. If you’re having a problem achieving flow or managing reviews, there’s a chapter for each. While I’d be delighted if you read the whole thing, you can just as easily use it to troubleshoot your particular problem, or just sample it when you have ten minutes and come away with a useful lesson.
  3. I understand why you write the way you do. Giving advice is easy. Taking it is hard. After 35 years of writing and editing, I know what causes the problems I’m railing against. I know why you have trouble taking criticism, why you use weasel words, and why you feel nervous about citing statistics. Once you know why there’s a problem, it’s much easier to solve.
  4. I address the whole writing process. There’s a part about motivations. There are nine short chapters on the specifics of writing. I address process, because I know you’re writing in an environment with other people. And I provide specific advice for writing for email, social media, promotional writing, and reports. This is not just a litany of “do this, don’t do that,” because that’s not what your day is like.
  5. It’s modern. I know you write on a computer or tablet or smartphone. I know your readers read there. I know your readers are knee-deep in unedited content. I understand social media, electronic markup, and links. I love Strunk and White, but both of them were dead before the Web came to be. It’s time for a writing manual that recognizes the world we actually write in.
  6. It’s for business writers. Writing in a corporate environment is different. I know, I did it for 35 years. So I address what it’s like to write for business purposes, surrounded by businesspeople, dealing with corporate politics. If you’re a poet, this isn’t for you.
  7. There is a high insight density. I learned quite a bit in my decades as a writer. My objective is that you’ll learn something new in every chapter. Your highlighter (traditional or electronic) will get a workout.

So go ahead and get a copy. If you like the book, tell others. I’d love to keep talking and writing about this for a long time, and to do that, we need to spread the word about the value here. Give one to your boss. Give a few to your department. Post about it on Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn.

And if you get sick of highlighting, here’s a little poster for you, with as many of the insights as I could cram into one page. Share it.




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  1. Josh,
    Congratulations, I look forward to the new book!
    As one of your former Forrester colleagues, I have always enjoyed your writing and today, due to a fortuitous series of events, I heard your interview on the Jim and Margery show. Great job! Although, I won’t be able to make your book signing this evening I wish you continued success and many books to come.

  2. Hey Josh! Great post and nice infographic – I’ve printed it out! ‘WWB’ isn’t out until next month here in the UK, so will have to wait, but really looking forward to it.

  3. It took me a while to come to grips with this title — blame my Catholic-school upbringing. But since I’ve adopted it as a textbook for grad students, it has become my bible for good writing. Quick read, easy to navigate, very practical. Read this and your writing will improve immediately.