Saturday, September 24, 2022

book: On Writing Well by William Zinsser

 On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction: Zinsser, William: 9780060891541: Books

"Whether you want to write about people or places, science and technology, business, sports, the arts or about yourself in the increasingly popular memoir genre, On Writing Well offers you fundamental priciples as well as the insights of a distinguished writer and teacher. With more than a million copies sold, this volume has stood the test of time and remains a valuable resource for writers and would-be writers."

William Zinsser - Wikipedia

William Knowlton Zinsser was an American writer, editor, literary critic, and teacher. He began his career as a journalist for the New York Herald Tribune, where he worked as a feature writer, drama editor, film critic and editorial writer. He was a longtime contributor to leading magazines.


Internet Archive Search: creator:"William Zinsser"

On Writing Well : William Zinsser : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

On Writing Well, The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction, 6e (2001)

reviews and summaries:

ON WRITING WELL by William Zinsser | Core Message - YouTube

More productive knowledge, in less time. Productivity Game

“Few people realize how badly they write. Nobody has shown them how much excess or murkiness has crept into their style and how it obstructs what they are trying to say.” – William Zinsser


“Every successful piece of nonfiction should leave the reader with one provocative thought that he or she didn’t have before. Not two thoughts, or five—just one.”


Rewriting is the essence of writing ‐ professional writers rewrite their sentences over and over and then rewrite what they have rewritten...Rewriting makes writing tighter, stronger and more precise.


Your second draft will be much leaner than the first, but not lean enough. Refine your second draft by reading it from the perspective of an impatient reader who hates unnecessary words.   Get the impatient reader through your piece quickly by removing redundant words and replacing pretentious words.


“The most important sentence in any article is the first one. If it doesn’t induce the reader to proceed to the second sentence, your article is dead. And if the second sentence doesn’t induce him to continue to the third sentence, it’s equally dead.”

On Writing Well Summary and Review - Four Minute Books

On Writing Well is your guide to becoming a great non-fiction writer that explains why you must learn and practice principles like simplicity, consistency, voice, editing, and enthusiasm if you want to persuade readers and make a difference in their lives.

"learn and practice principles like simplicity, consistency, voice, editing, and enthusiasm
if you want to persuade readers and make a difference in their lives."

Lesson 1: Cut out unnecessary words and phrases as much as possible because simple writing is the best at conveying meaning.

complex writing is bad writing.

Lesson 2: Your beginnings and endings make a big difference for reader engagement, so spend time making them great.

Lesson 3: Inspire yourself with your writing and you will inspire those who read it.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

books: Indistractable & Hooked, by Nir Eyal

and previous book from the same author

excellent interview with book author:

the solution and opposite for "dis-traction" (unplanned action) is "traction" (planned action)!

"time management" is "pain (discomfort) management"

"in-distract-able" is the superpower to have!

Nir Eyal Official Site: Articles, Videos, and Newsletter

NIR EYAL - INDISTRACTABLE: How To Control Your Attention And Choose Your Life -Part1/2 | London Real - YouTube

What makes some technology so habit-forming? | Nir Eyal | TED Institute - YouTube

online book on

Indistractable : NIR EYAL : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

Nir Eyal - Wikipedia

"Nir Eyal is an Israeli-born American author, lecturer and investor known for his bestselling book, Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

After graduating from the Master of Business Administration program at Stanford in 2008,[6] Eyal and fellow students founded a company that placed online ads in Facebook, with Eyal serving as CEO.[4] His work in the company sparked his interest in the psychology of users, and he went on to become a consultant in product design.[4] In 2012, he taught a course in the program on product design at the Stanford University School of Engineering."


INDISTRACTABLE by Nir Eyal | Core Message - YouTube
HOOKED by Nir Eyal | Core Message - YouTube
by Productivity Game

Indistractable: Chapter Takeaways 


Chapter 1: Living the life you want requires not only doing the right things
but also avoiding doing the wrong things.

Chapter 2: Traction moves you toward what you really want while distraction moves you further away. Being indistractable means striving to do what you say you will do.


Chapter 3: Motivation is a desire to escape discomfort.
Find the root causes of distraction rather than proximate ones.

Chapter 4: Learn to deal with discomfort rather than attempting to escape it with distraction.

Chapter 5: Stop trying to actively suppress urges—this only makes them stronger.
Instead, observe and allow them to dissolve.

Chapter 6: Reimagine the internal trigger. Look for the negative emotion preceding the distraction, write it down, and pay attention to the negative sensation with curiosity rather than contempt.

Chapter 7: Reimagine the task. Turn it into play by paying “foolish, even absurd” attention to it. Deliberately look for novelty.

Chapter 8: Reimagine your temperament. Self-talk matters. Your willpower runs out only if you believe it does. Avoid labeling yourself as “easily distracted” or having an “addictive personality.” 


Chapter 9: Turn your values into time. Timebox your day by creating a schedule template.

Chapter 10: Schedule time for yourself. Plan the inputs and the outcome will follow.

Chapter 11: Schedule time for important relationships. Include household responsibilities as well as time for people you love. Put regular time on your schedule for friends.

Chapter 12: Sync your schedule with stakeholders.


Chapter 13: Of each external trigger, ask: “Is this trigger serving me, or am I serving it?” Does it lead to traction or distraction? 

Chapter 14: Defend your focus. Signal when you do not want to be interrupted.

Chapter 15: To get fewer emails, send fewer emails. When you check email, tag each message with when it needs a reply and respond at a scheduled time.

Chapter 16: When it comes to group chat, get in and out at scheduled times. Only involve who is necessary and don’t use it to think out loud.

Chapter 17: Make it harder to call meetings. No agenda, no meeting. Meetings are for consensus building rather than problem solving. Leave devices outside the conference room except for one laptop.

Chapter 18: Use distracting apps on your desktop rather than your phone. Organize apps and manage notifications. Turn on “Do Not Disturb.” 

Chapter 19: Turn off desktop notifications. Remove potential distractions from your workspace.

Chapter 20: Save online articles in Pocket to read or listen to at a scheduled time. Use “multichannel multitasking.” 

Chapter 21: Use browser extensions that give you the benefits of social media without all the distractions. Links to other tools are at:


Chapter 22: The antidote to impulsiveness is forethought. Plan ahead for when you’re likely to get distracted.

Chapter 23: Use effort pacts to make unwanted behaviors more difficult.

Chapter 24: Use a price pact to make getting distracted expensive.

Chapter 25: Use identity pacts as a precommitment to a self-image. Call yourself “indistractable.” 


Chapter 26: An “always on” culture drives people crazy.

Chapter 27: Tech overuse at work is a symptom of dysfunctional company culture. The root cause is a culture lacking “psychological safety.” 

Chapter 28: To create a culture that values doing focused work, start small and find ways to facilitate an open dialogue among colleagues about the problem.


Chapter 29: Find the root causes of why children get distracted. Teach them the four-part indistractable model.

Chapter 30: Make sure children’s psychological needs are met. All people need to feel a sense of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. If kids don’t get their needs met in the real world, they look to fulfill them online.

Chapter 31: Teach children to timebox their schedule. Let them make time for activities they enjoy, including time online.

Chapter 32: Work with your children to remove unhelpful external triggers. Make sure they know how to turn off distracting triggers, and don’t become a distracting external trigger yourself.

Chapter 33: Help your kids make pacts and make sure they know managing distraction is their responsibility. Teach them that distraction is a solvable problem and that becoming indistractable is a lifelong skill.


Chapter 34: When someone uses a device in a social setting, ask, “I see you’re on your phone. Is everything OK?” 

Chapter 35: Remove devices from your bedroom and have the internet automatically turn off at a specific time.