Malcolm Gladwell’s Favorite Writers and Storytellers

Malcolm Gladwell is one of the best writers of our generation. That’s not to say he’s always right. As he likes to say, “I hope you find my work entertaining even when it’s wrong.” Gladwell has done some amazing stuff as a magazine writer, book writer, speaker, and even podcast host. If you want to watch some amazing talks, check out: The Spaghetti Sauce Talk and The Coke and Pepsi Talk. But who are the people that Malcolm Gladwell thinks are the best writers and speakers?

The Spaghetti Sauce Talk:

The Coke and Pepsi Talk:

On Great Writers

From the Longform Podcast interview with Malcolm Gladwell (starting at 28:18. Transcript provided by Longform)

My great hero as a writer is Michael Lewis. I just think Michael Lewis, believe it or not, is the most underrated writer of my generation. I think he is the one who will be read 50 years from now. And I think what he does is so extraordinary, from a kind of degree of difficulty standpoint. The Big Short is a gripping book, fascinating, utterly gripping book about derivatives. It blows me away how insanely hard that book was to do, and it’s brilliant. The Blind Side, I think, it might be the most perfect book I’ve read in 25 years. I don’t think there’s a single word in that that I would change. I just think it has everything. But he uses no science, right? Very little.

It’s all story. But he does more work in his stories, makes much more profound points than I do by dragging in all these sociologists and psychologists. He’s proved to me that, if you can tell a story properly, you don’t need this kind of scaffolding. You can just tell the story. And so, I’ve been trying, not entirely successfully, but trying to move in that direction over the last couple books.

I don’t think people realize how hard it is to do a single narrative book. That’s one of the things I admire about Michael Lewis. He seems to be able to do it effortlessly. I don’t even think I could pull it off. Maybe it’s because I’ve never found an individual whose story is rich enough. But, maybe I’m just not as good at developing a single story. I just think that’s kind of beyond me a little bit. … I would lose faith in my ability to keep the reader engaged. I’m much too nervous a writer. Whereas the amount of self-confidence you feel in Michael Lewis’s work, or Janet Malcolm’s work … she’s so extraordinarily sure of her gift, she’s not in any hurry to start and she knows you’ll stick with her because she knows she will deliver. To use a sports metaphor, Janet Malcolm and Michael Lewis are the people who are quite happy to take the last shot. I’m going to pass.

Apparently, Lewis and Gladwell are friends and appear together often.

In addition to being a compelling author, Gladwell also makes phenomenal speeches. My favorite Malcolm Gladwell speeches were given about 10 years ago: The Spaghetti Sauce Talk and The Coke and Pepsi Talk. Both of these are brilliant examples of storytelling and really show the difference between reading an article and giving a performance.

In his interview with Tim Ferris (starting at about 28 minutes), Gladwell talked about how difficult it is to give a great speech. It’s not about reading an article in front of a group, it takes a lot more work than that. Then Ferriss asks Gladwell, “Is there anyone in the world of speaking alive or dead who is the Michael Lewis for you.” Below is Gladwell’s answer. Note that I used YouTube’s transcript function  and tried editing it so it makes sense on the page:

I once went to a birthday party for an old friend of mine, Anne Applebaum, in England.  Now first of all the English are way better at giving speeches than we are. And secondly, we were talking about the creme de la creme of English speech givers.  Like serious Cambridge and Oxford debating society kind of people.

Niall Ferguson, the historian, gave a birthday toast which is just the best toast I’ve ever heard in my life. I mean it was like so much better than anything I had ever heard — like on another level. I was like oh my god that’s good. And part of what made it genius was he really gave you the impression he was making it up on the spot. Now he might actually have done that. He may be so good he could do that.

The conceit was that it was totally spontaneous. It was so cleverly done and so hilarious. And one of the ways it was so charming was the ways in which he was wrong. Part of the joke was he was going to make this elaborate hilarious argument about Anne who was turning fifty. And half of the stuff that he was going to say was not right. He spun a theory about the weekend and about her birthday and about her friends that was like hilarious because it was not accurate. And he did it with such panache. First of all that would never have occurred to me to make stuff up in such a dramatic way. But also I can’t do off-the-cuff. Ever since then I just worship the guy. I just think I think he walks on water.

I had Niall as a professor when I was at NYU for business school and he was just amazing. His books (like The Ascent of Money) and television programs (like The Ascent of Money) are really amazing. If you want to see him giving more of a speech like Malcolm mentioned, though a lot less funny, you can watch his speech at the Sydney Opera House.

What Makes a Great Consultant OR the Best Appliance Repairman Ever

What makes a great consultant? It’s someone who get’s the job done quickly,  teaches me instead of selling me and gives me the advice for the future. I’ve also got a great example of a bad consultant. The best consultant that I’ve met recently was the guy that fixed my refrigerator.

The Issue

Our Viking refrigerator was broken. The water filter was stuck. It was so badly stuck that in the act of trying to get it out, I broke the holder for the water filter. At this point, we needed to call in an expert before my “home improvement” project became a “buy another fridge” project.

Calling for help

So I called Len’s Appliance in Brooklyn (718) 238-3200. In the past, I’ve learned its useful for me to be there when the repairman comes rather than trying to rope someone else in. If it’s a bad repairman, I can avoid the damage. If it’s a good repairman, there’s a lot I can learn.

 

Get in Quick, Get It Done and Get Out

He came in and fixed the problem within 10 seconds. He grabbed the filter, disengaged it from the holder and twisted to remove the filter. The filter holder itself was made horribly. Not only is it very flimsy but it requires a lot of force in an awkward position to remove it. This is not a good combination. The force needed to take the filter out of the refrigerator stresses the holder so every time I change the filter, it’s always on the verge of breaking it. Once he removed the filter from its holder he could easily apply enough force to remove the filter. Wow that’s bad design.

Teach Me to Fish Rather Than Selling Me a Fish

Now remember, I called Len’s because of the broken filter holder.  After removing the filter he told me where I could go to buy a replacement. It was fairly easy to install myself and it wouldn’t be worth the $125 service call for him to reinstall it. Then he paused. “On second thought,” he said, “you don’t actually need this piece at all.” He explained that the poorly designed holder that made it difficult to remove the filter was only in use DURING the filter change process. So it actually wasn’t necessary at all.

Give Me Advice for the Future

Then he told me about the refrigerator itself. We’d bought this Viking fridge because we were under the impression that this fridge was unique in its size. This is a tiny Manhattan kitchen where space is a premium. He mentioned that the fridge was actually a standard size which is great! He also said that it’s out of production now and that spare parts are more expensive and will continue to go up in price.  Eventually, the parts will be impossible to buy.

Did you know that refrigerators are only meant to last 7 years? That’s what he told us. That big expensive kitchen appliance that you thought would last forever goes out of production every 7 years and you’ll need to buy a new one when it breaks. He told us that if the refrigerator breaks badly, it’s probably worth just buying a new one.   Oh, and from what he’s seen, the cheaper models like GE break less often than the Viking ones.

He felt bad that he was charging me $125 for the visit when he was only in my apartment for 15 minutes. But this was the best repair visit that I’d ever had.

Now read about a really bad consultant.

 

The Worst Consultant OR My Favorite Consulting Joke

A man in a hot air balloon comes descending on a meadow where a shepherd is tending his flock. After he greets the man he asks him “If I tell you how many sheep you have without having to count them, will you give me one of them?”

The shepherd agrees.

The man in the balloon says “You have 100 sheep.”

A bit surprised the shepherd says “How did you know?”

“Well,” says the man, “your field is about 5 km by 5km and in this part of the wilderness you can graze 4 sheep on each square km of land. So 5×5 is 25 square km times 4 is 100 sheep.”

“Wow, you’re right,” said the shepherd, “please take your pick of the sheep.”

After the man in the balloon selects his sheep, the shepherd turns to him and says “if I tell you what you do for a living, will you give me my animal back?”

The man in the balloon agrees. The shepherd says “You are a consultant.”

The man in the balloon is amazed at the insight that the shepherd has shown and says “How on earth did you know I am a consultant?”

The shepherd answered, “You showed up here even though nobody called you. You want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. And you don’t know a thing about my business … now give me back my dog!”

For an example of a great consultant read up about the great refrigerator repair experience I had.

Atul Gawande

Oh how I love to read Atul Gawande’s stuff. Here are some things that I enjoy:
  • Read a paraphrased version of the manifesto here.
  • Atul Gawande has a number of very interesting articles on his website
  • The original Checklist article
  • An OpEd he wrote for The New York Times, entitled “A Lifesaving Checklist” which talks about how the Federal Government tried to stop the checklist from moving forward. It’s a good example of how difficult it is to get people to agree to a new process – even if it’s clearly the better thing to do
  • Gawande also wrote a great book, Being Mortal, about how getting old is not a disease. This book is pretty amazing because it shows how to use our time and the time of our loved ones (especially the last few years) in the best way possible
  • He also has a couple of books, Complications and Better, that pull together his New Yorker stories. It’s all amazing stuff
  • And I have to include this wonderful history of surgery. Surgery was all about speed before the invention of anesthesia. Here’s an example of how draconian surgery used to be
Examples of amputation without anesthesia. Panel A is a drawing by Charles Bell from 1821 showing the circular method of amputation.9 Panel B shows the flap method of amputation being used in 1837, with an assistant retracting the tissue flap to allow the surgeon to saw through the femur.

The Power of Checklists OR I Don’t Care How Many Years You Went to School, You Still Have to Follow the Process

A few years ago when I was meeting with the head of compliance for a large bank. I know you’re thinking, “This is going to be fascinating.” But surprisingly it was.

Compliance is in many ways the quality assurance function of a bank. At big companies, making sure that things are done correctly is brutally difficult. The temptation is to demand that everyone double check everything and focus on each piece of work to make sure it’s right. And that’s what was happening here.

However, what you find out is that people aren’t very good at focusing on “everything” — especially the smart people who are really good at doing the hard stuff. Smart people aren’t very good at doing the boring stuff. That’s why they’re really smart people. They want to be challenged. So her team was good at doing the complicated things but missed quite a few boring items that people overlooked. 

So what should she do? I immediately thought that she should split up the mundane work from the actually difficult work and mentioned The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. I asked her if she’d ever heard of the book. With a flourish, she opens up a cabinet with a pile of books and says I give this book to everyone. Read more about the book and the manifesto in this post.

Bonus Trivia: The Checklist Manifesto is one of Jack Dorsey’s favorite books. At Square, it’s referred to as The Big Red  Book.

The Checklist Manifesto

While I was writing my other post The Power of Checklists OR I Don’t Care How Many Years You Went to School, You Still Have to Follow the Process I was trying to learn more about Gawande’s view on checklists. So I started rereading The Checklist Manifesto. In the introduction of the book, he actually writes an actual manifesto which I’ll try to summarize here — quoting liberally.

In the 1970s, Samuel Gorovitz and Alasdair MacIntyre published a short essay called “Toward a Theory of Medical Fallibility” where they looked at the different ways that doctors fail. They broke it down into two categories: ignorance (not knowing something) and ineptitude (not able to do something well that you knew how to do).

First, let’s look at ignorance:

I was struck by how greatly the balance of ignorance and ineptitude has shifted. For nearly all of history, people’s lives have been governed primarily by ignorance. This was nowhere more clear than with the illnesses that befell us. We knew little about what caused them or what could be done to remedy them. But sometime over the last several decades—and it is only over the last several decades—science has filled in enough knowledge to make ineptitude as much our struggle as ignorance.

Consider heart attacks. Even as recently as the 1950s, we had little idea of how to prevent or treat them. We didn’t know, for example, about the danger of high blood pressure, and had we been aware of it we wouldn’t have known what to do about it. The first safe medication to treat hypertension was not developed and conclusively demonstrated to prevent disease until the 1960s. We didn’t know about the role of cholesterol, either, or genetics or smoking or diabetes.

Furthermore, if someone had a heart attack, we had little idea of how to treat it. We’d give some morphine for the pain, perhaps some oxygen, and put the patient on strict bed rest for weeks—patients weren’t even permitted to get up and go to the bathroom for fear of stressing their damaged hearts. Then everyone would pray and cross their fingers and hope the patient would make it out of the hospital to spend the rest of his or her life at home as a cardiac cripple.

But now we’ve conquered a good portion of ignorance — and greatly increasing the amount of ineptitude:

But now the problem we face is ineptitude, or maybe it’s “eptitude”—making sure we apply the knowledge we have consistently and correctly. Just making the right treatment choice among the many options for a heart attack patient can be difficult, even for expert clinicians. Furthermore, whatever the chosen treatment, each involves abundant complexities and pitfalls. Careful studies have shown, for example, that heart attack patients undergoing cardiac balloon therapy should have it done within ninety minutes of arrival at a hospital. After that, survival falls off sharply. In practical terms this means that, within ninety minutes, medical teams must complete all their testing for every patient who turns up in an emergency room with chest pain, make a correct diagnosis and plan, discuss the decision with the patient, obtain his or her agreement to proceed, confirm there are no allergies or medical problems that have to be accounted for, ready a cath lab and team, transport the patient, and get started.

What is the likelihood that all this will actually occur within ninety minutes in an average hospital? In 2006, it was less than 50 percent.

And this goes beyond medicine:

Know-how and sophistication have increased remarkably across almost all our realms of endeavor, and as a result, so has our struggle to deliver on them. You see it in the frequent mistakes authorities make when hurricanes or tornadoes or other disasters hit. You see it in the 36 percent increase between 2004 and 2007 in lawsuits against attorneys for legal mistakes—the most common being simple administrative errors, like missed calendar dates and clerical screw ups, as well as errors in applying the law. You see it in flawed software design, in foreign intelligence failures, in our tottering banks—in fact, in almost any endeavor requiring mastery of complexity and of large amounts of knowledge.

Such failures carry an emotional valence that seems to cloud how we think about them. Failures of ignorance we can forgive. If the knowledge of the best thing to do in a given situation does not exist, we are happy to have people simply make their best effort. But if the knowledge exists and is not applied correctly, it is difficult not to be infuriated. What do you mean half of heart attack patients don’t get their treatment on time? What do you mean that two-thirds of death penalty cases are overturned because of errors? It is not for nothing that the philosophers gave these failures so unmerciful a name —ineptitude. Those on the receiving end use other words, like negligence or even heartlessness….

The capability of individuals is not proving to be our primary difficulty, whether in medicine or elsewhere. Far from it. Training in most fields is longer and more intense than ever. People spend years of sixty-, seventy-, eighty-hour weeks building their base of knowledge and experience before going out into practice on their own—whether they are doctors or professors or lawyers or engineers. They have sought to perfect themselves. It is not clear how we could produce substantially more expertise than we already have. Yet our failures remain frequent. They persist despite remarkable individual ability.

And then we get to the manifesto itself:

Here, then, is our situation at the start of the twenty-first century: We have accumulated stupendous know-how. We have put it in the hands of some of the most highly trained, highly skilled, and hardworking people in our society. And, with it, they have indeed accomplished extraordinary things.

Nonetheless, that know-how is often unmanageable. Avoidable failures are common and persistent, not to mention demoralizing and frustrating, across many fields—from medicine to finance, business to government. And the reason is increasingly evident: the volume and complexity of what we know has exceeded our individual ability to deliver its benefits correctly, safely, or reliably. Knowledge has both saved us and burdened us.

That means we need a different strategy for overcoming failure, one that builds on experience and takes advantage of the knowledge people have but somehow also makes up for our inevitable human inadequacies. And there is such a strategy—though it will seem almost ridiculous in its simplicity, maybe even crazy to those of us who have spent years carefully developing ever more advanced skills and technologies.

It is a checklist.

Click Here to Kill Everyone. A Security Expert’s View on the Internet of Things.

There are a lot of articles about Artificial intelligence and what it will mean to the world. People are asking questions like Where is Technology Taking The Economy? and Where Machines Could Replace Humans?. One thing that’s clear is that computers have become an integral part of our life.

Computers used to be ancillary items that would help us get things done. For example,  a GPS system was just a better map. If the GPS failed, we could always go back to a map to find our way home. Today, we can’t live without computers. Take driving for instance. We don’t drive our cars anymore. When we turn the steering wheel or press a gas pedal we are actually sending a signal to the computer that that drives the car.

Bruce Schneier, one of the world’s top security experts, just published an article about the dangers of this new environment called Click Here to Kill Everyone. With the Internet of Things, we’re building a world-size robot. How are we going to control it?

Giant robot? What is Schneier talking about? He says:

Broadly speaking, the Internet of Things has three parts. There are the sensors that collect data about us and our environment: smart thermostats, street and highway sensors, and those ubiquitous smartphones with their motion sensors and GPS location receivers. Then there are the “smarts” that figure out what the data means and what to do about it. This includes all the computer processors on these devices and — increasingly — in the cloud, as well as the memory that stores all of this information. And finally, there are the actuators that affect our environment. The point of a smart thermostat isn’t to record the temperature; it’s to control the furnace and the air conditioner. Driverless cars collect data about the road and the environment to steer themselves safely to their destinations.

You can think of the sensors as the eyes and ears of the internet. You can think of the actuators as the hands and feet of the internet. And you can think of the stuff in the middle as the brain. We are building an internet that senses, thinks, and acts.

This is the classic definition of a robot. We’re building a world-size robot, and we don’t even realize it.

This reliance on computers changes the way we should be thinking about computer security. Security has three components: confidentiality, availability and integrity. In the past, when people were thinking about security, they were most concerned about confidentiality (e.g., someone was reading their email, someone stealing their identity). But today there’s a far bigger problem in availability and integrity. Shutting down your car (availability) is a far bigger problem than someone knowing where you are all the time (confidentiality). And modifying your car (integrity) to prevent your brakes from working on the highway is the biggest problem of all.

But even cars aren’t the biggest problem. It’s all these smaller things that we’re connecting to the Internet — the Internet of Things. Last year we saw some enterprising hackers marshal together millions of DVRs and webcams to attack the core infrastructure of the internet and bring websites like Twitter, Amazon and Netflix down. Here’s the basic problem:

  • Prioritizing functionality and cost over security. While companies like Apple and Google spend hundreds of millions of dollars on security and pushing out updates, there are many smaller companies making connected devices that don’t care much about security. They often aren’t made in a way to update this security. And because consumers don’t really care if their DVR or refrigerator has good security, it’s unlikely that this will change. So now you have devices connected to the internet that are vulnerable both as victims and coopted attackers. Because these devices are all connected in an ecosystem, a failure of one seemingly unimportant piece can cause far bigger consequences like how an unsecured fish tank connected to the internet let hackers infiltrate a casino.
  • Connecting everything to the internet. Now because all these devices are connected to thet internet, you’ve got to protect against the best hackers in the world. Just look at how North Korea is trying to finance the country through ransomware. I’m not convinced that I’m going to win a hacking battle with a nation — are you?

So how do we fix this? Schneider doesn’t have great solutions but he has a couple:

  • Regulation. While regulation is normally anathema to computer programmers, for cybersecurity it is needed. There are a few ways to look at this. First of all, the internet as a whole is a utility. In order to maintain the availability of the utility and protect against catastrophe, it’s reasonable to regulate it. Secondly, you can view security as a public health system. In order to maintain the health of the internet, we need to ensure that there are a limited number of viruses on it and we take those viruses seriously. Otherwise, these viruses can imperil the health of the entire system. Schneir’s point is that regulation is inevitable so we should start thinking about it now.
  • Disconnection. Why are we connecting everything to the internet?! Everyone is so excited about connecting everything to the internet without thinking about the risks. How much do we lose by disconnecting a power station’s controls from the Internet? It’s probably a little more expensive to have a person or two stationed directly at the plant. But if we leave them connected, there’s the real danger that they can be attacked by a hacker and brought down or destroyed. 

In the excitement over all the possibilities that Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things can bring, we need to be vigilant about protecting the ecosystem. But people remain far too optimistic about the future. Just today I saw an article titled Cyber Attacks on U.S. Power Grids Can Be Deterred With Password Changes that should have been titled “US Power Grid Has Multiple Security Holes.” Oh, and taking down a power grid is already being tested in Ukraine.

Questions OR Rosencrantz and Guildenstern at 40

Yale has a wonderful writing class called Daily Themes. This class has been taught at Yale for over 100 years and requires students to write a story each day of about 500 words. I always wanted to take the class but never did. So I started to do some of the writing on my own based on the prompts my friend Aaron Gertler online from the 2015 class.  My favorite one so far is:

Create a conversation between two characters in which everything said on either side is in the form of a question and every question advances the conversation. Avoid rhetorical questions and repetitions.

I hadn’t realized this but the instructor had put in a link to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern’s “Questions” game — which was what popped into my head as well. With that preamble, I now give you…

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern at 40

How did we get here?

Weren’t we promised a happy and fulfilled life if we just gave our life to the company?

Isn’t that why we went to business school?

Wasn’t that the promise once we got out?

Do you feel likely we have climbed a giant mountain up through the clouds only to see more mountain?

Do you think we are at the top of the mountain and can finally see clearly?

Are we getting close to the end?

Do you feel like we are in that Tom Stoppard play “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead?”

Or maybe Godot?

So what do we do now?

Should we change our focus and get off the hedonic treadmill?

But what would we do then?

Don’t Zen monks talk about this problem?

Could we leverage some of that?

Why do you always have to talk in business speak?

Aren’t you afraid of death?

Aren’t we dying every minute?

Do you think that’s the secret – living completely in the moment?

Is there any other way?

Why don’t we treat every moment as our last by being fearless and vulnerable and not afraid to fail?

Are you saying failure is good?

How can you have anything valuable without failure?

What about love and courage and accomplishment?

Isn’t that what I’m saying?

A Better Way to Write OR Why You Don’t Need to Write About the iPhone 5

There’s an old saying that the best way to learn something is to teach it. That’s certainly true when working with Blake on a school project. Blake is writing a chapter book at school. At most, it’s going to be 20 pages long. In Blake’s mind this is huge. Like infinitely large.

Blake‘s topic is Apple — a topic that he’s passionate about. He wants to write everything in the world about Apple in his up to 20 pages. He wants to explain all the iPhones, iPods, iPads, Macs and everything else that’s ever existed within the Apple oeuvre. I thought it might be more useful to take a historical perspective and highlight the important parts of Apple history. He wanted to stick with his original plan of writing the encyclopedia of Apple.

So I tried to prune some of the low hanging fruit.  “What about the iPhone 5?”

“Of course we have to write about the iPhone 5,” Blake said.

“Why?” I said.

“Because it’s important. That’s where Apple started using Touch ID.”

“No,” I reminded him, “that didn’t happen until the iPhone 5s.”

So we got rid of one Apple product. But the real question here is how to make writing the most productive and fun, While Blake is working on his writing project, I was trying to think about how to optimize my own writing.

I thought about some of the principles we’re using in Agile software development at work and how they could help when writing:

  • Limiting the work in progress  (WIP). It’s much easier to start things than to finish them. I remember someone at Google once told me that “If you have 10 apples, don’t take one bite from each of them.” And it’s the same thing with writing. I only want to have 3 items in progress at any given point. That gives me some flexibility on what to work on but any more than that I start to feel overwhelmed with the work I need to finish.
  • Develop iteratively and refine. Jeff Patton gives a great example of this when thinking about the creation of the Mona Lisa. Da Vinci didn’t sit down and start drawing pieces of the Mona Lisa.
    Tbe Mona Lisa Wasn’t Put Together Piece by Piece…

    …It Was Refined in an Iterative Fashion
  • He drew the basics. Then he drew the outline. Then he made refinements.
  • Do the most important thing first. In order to develop iteratively, I need to prioritize. By prioritizing the work, it breaks things up into manageable chunks. I’ve also done the biggest things first so I can stop much earlier and still have something that holds together. Then I can edit and refine only the parts I really want to. 
  • Time Box. I give myself a certain amount of time upfront to finish something. If I say I’m going to finish this piece in 2 hours it really helps me prioritize and make sure I’m focused.
  • Split up the planning and the doing. Most people don’t like planning so they mix up their planning and their actual writing. It’s much easier to split up the work into multiple bite-sized chunks. This relieves a lot of the cognitive stress and makes the writing more fun.

Here are the steps I use to implement these principles:

  1. Topics. This is really just the very high level of topics that I want to write about. I keep a list in Evernote. It’s good to try to keep this list prioritized because the items on the top become the most exciting ones that I want to tackle. Possibly I might put in a very high-level outline at this point.
  2. Story Bits. This is when I start to flesh out the idea. This can be done on index cards, post it’s, or just a piece of paper. My favorite way of brainstorming is Mind Mapping. There’s a great book that taught me how.
  3. Organizing. Then it’s time to create a broad outline. Some good ways of building the outline are user story mapping and the pyramid principle (summary here). These days when I’m writing a blog post I just write out my the paragraph order and my topic sentences.
  4. Write. Once I’ve done he organizing, the writing is fairly easy. It’s just fleshing out the idea. Each paragraph really should only be one idea and I’ve already written that idea down in the last step.
  5. Refinement. This is where I go in and make sure that spelling is correct and that everything makes sense. This is best to do once I’ve had some time to rest and take a look at it. There’s normally some silly mistakes but in general I’m happily surprised with what I wrote.

By following these steps I’ve been able to write a lot more and have a lot more fun doing it. Give it a try!