The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Writing Practice Edition

A friend of mine who has published a small pile of books made a really good suggestion recently: why don’t you use Twitter to really practice your key phrases? In other words, if you’re trying to find a sharp way to say something, work on honing that sentence yourself, then toss it out there on Twitter on its own to see what others think.

So I’ve started doing that. As I work on my book, there are certain phrases and sentences that I work on carefully – the ones that really need to express a single idea very well. If I get one that I like, I often share it on Twitter, whether or not I think it’ll wind up in a book or in a post or something else entirely.

My favorite example of this? I was working on a freelance article about, well, freelance writing. I wanted a visually expressive and very playful lead-in sentence. I worked through several iterations, then finally tossed it out there:

Writing is like eating mashed potatoes: you need to finish up while it’s hot, but you’re tempted to spend your time sculpting.

It was a hit. Multiple people wrote to me asking what my source for that “quote” was.

I think the challenge of fitting an interesting idea into 140 characters or less forces you to be a better writer.

Anyway, on with some personal finance links.

Learning to (Un)Love Leverage Why is the “conventional wisdom” in business practice completely disastrous in day to day life? I think it’s disastrous in business, too – look at the myriad of failures in 2008. (@ megan mccardle)

Will Forced Frugality Last? I don’t think it will. Many, many people have their behavior steered by popular culture, and I think (to a certain extent) popular culture is promoting frugality. It’ll go away, like any other fad. Sadly enough. (@ wisebread)

Winning on the Uphills Challenges are what make you. You don’t get better when things are easy – you get better when you’re pushed hard. This applies to pretty much everything in life, from personal finance to exercise. (@ seth godin)

Emergency Fund Is For Emergencies ONLY – 6 Ways To Leave It Alone We tend to go to the opposite extreme. I try as hard as I can to avoid touching even a dime of our emergency funds. In fact, I probably go too far. (@ debt free adventure)

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