What’s in your way?

I’m fond of saying that the first 90 percent of something is vastly easier than the second 90 percent. There’s so much wisdom packed into that, and it’s funny—if you know how to tell a joke. Gee Willikers! I’m almost done! When in fact, I’ve only just scratched the surface.

In practice, this means you need to limit distractions to the full extent possible. Pull quotes, so effective near the top of an article, become a nuisance further down; many readers will find themselves unconsciously drawn to them, even when they want to focus on the text. Attention to the basic typographic details, line length, a readable typeface, the right balance between font size and line height, appropriate contrast between the text and background, can make the difference between a reader who makes it to the end of the article versus one who tires and gives up.

~ Mandy Brown from, https://aworkinglibrary.com/writing/in-defense-of-readers

I can say, without exaggeration, that I’ve tortured myself over every single tiny detail of what you are looking at. That includes the fact that 7 for Sunday looks slightly different in email. (It looks great in email; but what you see isn’t quite as controllable as a web site.) It would probably be good enough if I hadn’t tortured myself about the details, even though I think craftsmanship matters.

But of course readers matter most.

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Reading

Reading must occur every day, but it is not just any daily reading that will do. The day’s reading must include at minimum a few lines whose principal intent is to be beautiful—words composed as much for the sake of their composition as for the meaning they convey.

~ Mandy Brown

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