A blogpost from 2005.
You can see from the layout that it was a while ago: MS-DOS vibes.
But it’s still one of the best articles on writing I’ve ever read. And I’ve read quite a few.
The title alone.
Author Kathy Sierra advises to write the way you talk. But then without the um’s and you-know’s.
Not only in blog articles. Also in books.
Even books on complex topics.
When you write conversationally, something strange happens.
Your reader knows he’s not having a real conversation. Yet his brain subconsciously thinks it needs to talk back. So it pays more attention.
Research also shows that people remember conversational writing better than formal writing.
You may know this intuitively. But most people have unlearned writing informally in high school.
Too bad, Sierra says. Your sixth-grade teacher was wrong.
Sierra ends her story with a nice one-liner.
If your brain had a bumper sticker, it would say: I heart conversation.
So, do you want me to pay attention?
Address me as ‘you’. Ask me questions. Use everyday words.
Just like in a conversation.