There are a lot of books out there about writing, but many of them miss the mark when it comes to providing accessible, practical advice. Ann Handley’s Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content provides useful, easy to understand writing advice in short digestible chapters. This is the kind of book that can serve both newbie and experienced writers in noticeably improving their writing.
Everybody Writers is made up of short digestible chapters. Readers can dip in and out of the book easily, just reading a brief chapter at a time, while still following the book’s overarching dialogue about writing.
One of my favorite quotes comes from chapter 2:
“Keep at it even when you want to quit. Simply put, the way to become a better writer is to write.”
Writing, according the Handley and the other writers she quotes, is a habit not an art. It’s easy to forget that writing isn’t about innate talent. While a writer can certainly be born with talent, if they were never to put their talent into practice, they wouldn’t be a writer. A writer is someone who writes. Full stop. Writing as often as you can is what will make you a better writer. This is good news because it means that we are all capable of improving our writing and becoming great writers. All we must do is keep putting words on a page.
Everybody Writes is mainly a book about marketing writing - copywriting, writing social media content, blogging, etc. - but it could be useful to writers of other disciplines both as a source of encouragement and a practical guide to making their writing resonate with their ideal audience.
There don’t seem to be enough books specifically about writing for marketing projects, so it’s nice to have a book like this that can serve as a reference.
Everybody Writes was written in 2014. Because Part 5 of the book deals so closely with technology (social media, emails, websites, etc.), it may leave you wondering if the advice in the “15 Things Marketers Write” section is slightly outdated. The advice in this section is general and doesn’t delve into changes with algorithms, platforms, or operating systems, but there are a few lines that may make you wonder if Handley’s advice may have changed in the 7+ years since the book was published. Take this section with a grain of salt and remember to keep up to date with changes in the marketing industry by checking in with news outlets and current blogs to make up for any gaps in knowledge. Overall, the writing advice is sound.
The ideal reader for Everybody Writes is someone who wants to learn more about writing for marketing purposes, although this read could still be helpful for creative writers and writers of disciplines outside of marketing. No matter what kind of writer you are, marketing will likely be a necessary part of your writing journey whether you’re setting up ad campaigns for your self-published books, sharing published articles on social media, building a following for your traditionally published books, or even writing business emails. So, Everybody Writes may still be useful to you no matter what you’re writing.
I recommend this for college grads entering the marketing space, anyone who has marketing as one of the side-duties of their day job, anyone who wants to get into freelance writing, and those who already work in the marketing space and want to tighten up their writing skills.
Poet. Reader. Lifelong Student.