Writing to be a world-class product person

Anna Marie and I found that while we are basically constantly writing — emails, blog posts, proposals — we haven’t read anything beyond a few blog posts on how to become better writers…


We believe that the craft of writing and the process of becoming a better writer needs real time and attention, so we chose On Writing Well by William Zinsser for the next book club book. It has sold over 1.5M copies. It covers how to approach writing, specific suggestions for various forms of non-fiction writing, and a litany of handy tips and tricks.

Our discussion on the podcast led to chats about writing in all forms — emails, messaging, internal communication, and public blog posts — basically any and all things you may need to write in your product-focused role.

We dive into:

  • how to get started writing and when (if?) to share your writing publicly.
  • why open source software for engineers == writing publicly for product people.
  • tactics for building a strong, authentic voice.
  • writing as a tool and process to develop your opinions, re-evaluate processes you use with your team, and generally think more deeply about your work.
  • coming to terms with the inherent power of ego that pushes many to write (…but doesn’t have to).
  • the importance of title and the space your words and sentences take up on the page.
  • the future of writing… emoji and gifs ftw! 🎉 🎉 🎉

Listen here to the On Writing Well episode of the Clearly Product Book Club Podcast, and don’t forget to subscribe!

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