Illustrations: Katya Dorokhina

How to Write Anything

How to Write Anything

Rules you can use to write anything you want to write — from a book to a tweet

You are a writer.

You tweet. You email. You Slack. You text. Multiple times a day, you look at a blank screen and you fill it with words — your own words written in your own style for an audience you hope to persuade, amuse, inform.

Here at Forge, we think there’s no activity more connected to the self — and no skill more improvable — than what we type into those screens. So, all this week, we’ve been publishing stories about how to write the things we write every day.

In “Tweeting is Writing, Too,” Drew Magary, a writer of columns, blogs, and novels, reminds us that Twitter is a powerful platform for ideas — big or small, fun or weird — that requires authenticity and a healthy respect for your audience.

In “How to Write an Article Millions of People Will Read,” Darius Foroux offers wisdom about writing a story that speaks to people’s concerns and aspirations (and may well go viral). It’s a writing clinic from one of Medium’s most popular authors, and it’s about going deep over wide, specific over general.

Kara Cutruzzula, a freelance writer and playwright who’s on a quest to master professional etiquette, writes about an underrated kind of email: the nudge. In “The Follow-Up Is the Most Important Email You’ll Ever Write,” she gives you precise templates on how to get a response when one doesn’t seem to be coming.

In “The Most Powerful Obituary Is the Social Media Memorial,” the veteran writer Chuck Thompson explores the world of the “digital eulogy,” the messages we write and post about the dead on social media. The wisdom in this story applies just as well to sympathy cards and spoken eulogies.

Finally, former Cosmopolitan relationships editor Julia Pugachevsky writes about the art of the dating profile in “What 5 Serial Daters Can Teach You About Personal Myth-Making.” The story is an important read even if you’re not on a dating app, because crafting a dating profile is really just about knowing how to tell “your story.” The lessons can apply to everything from writing a work bio to introducing yourself in a speech.

Throughout this collection of stories, we’ve included timeless rules about writing anything. Some specifically address a certain format, but many apply to virtually any kind of writing, like these:

Author, Works Well With Others: Crucial Skills in Business No One Ever Teaches You // writing about creativity, work, and human behavior, in a useful way

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