A Need For Speed


Lately it occurs to me that I've been doing a heck of a lot of griping to myself that I didn't have enough running blogs to read -- not enough people are writing about running, dammit! -- and yet have been doing exactly zero writing about running myself. 

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December 9, 2014 | 4 Comments

Last Week's Puzzler


Shortly after I graduated college, I had a meltdown. Nothing serious, just your usual sort of freakout. I responded to this event the way New Englanders have for generations: I sold what I owned and bought a one-way plane ticket to San Francisco.

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November 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

My Dirty Little Writing Habit, Exposed


From the latest edition of the Mount Holyoke College alumnae magazine, where I chatted a bit about how to establish a daily writing habit.

It’s been said that writing is easy; you just sit down at your typewriter and bleed. Sounds pretty untidy, fairly painful, and frankly more than a little unsanitary to me. But writing—whether you’re working on a novel or polishing an email to your boss—is an increasingly important skill in today’s hyperconnected world. We all need to write and write well.

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July 23, 2014 | 0 Comments

Still Running, Still Dreaming


A reader emailed me the other day, asking me if I'm still running or not. He'd just seen my talk from last summer's Inbound conference (the somewhat misleadingly titled How to be a Writing God), and I realized that now might be as good a time as any to give y'all an update on all of that. You know, one year later and whatnot.

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July 9, 2014 | 3 Comments

Why I'm Jealous of New Runners


I'm guest-blogging today over at You Can't Fake Sweat about what it's like to be a new-ish runner two years down the road, and what I miss about being a brand new runner like I was back then. Check it out.

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June 18, 2014 | 1 Comment

Who's Speaking, Please?


When you use some delightful piece of software, is it yours, or does it belong to the company that built it? Okay. Obviously, in a strictly legal sense, software is intellectual property that "belongs" to its makers. But don't we talk about "my Google doc" and "my Excel spreadsheet" and "my Facebook wall?"

Sure we do. So it's a bit jarring when the interface reflects a totally different point of view. 

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April 7, 2014 | 1 Comment

Conversational Contractions


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One of the first things I find myself doing when I'm asked to edit someone else's work -- whether it's microcopy or blog posts or just about anything else -- is to add in a bunch of contractions.

You know what I mean. If the author wrote "you have," I'll change it to "you've." "Will not" becomes "won't."

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March 21, 2014 | 0 Comments

The User Is The Hero


We've been talking a lot at HubSpot lately about the importance of storytelling in our work. Last week, Laura Fitton published this delightful megapost of talks from last year's INBOUND conference that either focused on storytelling as a virtue or used great storytelling just to get a point across.

But how can storytelling help you write better microcopy?

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March 14, 2014 | 0 Comments

Lay Off The Exclamation Marks, Buddy


John Zeratsky shared his five rules for writing great interface copy recently on Fast Company Design, and I was so happy to nod my vigorous agreement with almost everything he said. Because: Preach. But I just have to argue with one little thing. 

Just one little thing! In every other way that post smelled like chocolate chip cookies, fresh and hot from the oven.

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March 3, 2014 | 2 Comments

Get Write On Board


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So a couple of years ago, I was working on a major deadline. I had a massive writing project that I needed to complete, and things at work and at home were just too frantic for me to clear up enough head space to get it done.

To top it all off, I had to travel the weekend before my project was due.

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February 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

Beth Dunn is a writer and editor on the HubSpot User Experience team. Subscribe to get updates by email.