Chapter 4

Write When You Get Work

Completing an idea—some finer touches

BEFORE WE START TALKING ABOUT DOING THE WORK, let’s talk briefly about the spirit we bring to our craft.



Remember how it felt the first time you held a new iPod or iPhone? Remember the delight you felt with every detail? The texture of the metal; the precious curve of the housing; the precise click of each button? I doubt I’m the only one who thought these angelic details made those little devices from Cupertino feel perfect—not just good, but perfect. At Apple, they call this design ethos making something “insanely great.”

I call it making something way better than it has to be, and Apple isn’t the only place you can enjoy the benefits of fanatical attention to detail. You can hear it in the slam of the door on a new Audi. Feel it in the delicious weight of a Waterford crystal glass. Or hear it in any Beatles song. (Sue me. I still love ’em.) All these things are made way better than they have to be.

As we begin to discuss the crafts of writing and art direction in more detail, I want to impress upon you here the importance of doing work that is insanely great, of employing these crafts to the very best of your ability. Because in the end they are all you have at your command to get a reader or viewer to lean in. And this leaning in is the ...

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