You Have a Responsibility to Write Clearly, and We Have Advice on How to Do It

Roy Peter Clark's newest book, "Murder Your Darlings," gave us a great opportunity to chat about life during the pandemic and why writing well is especially important these days.

Mignon Fogarty
1-minute read
Episode #774
The cover of the book "Murder Your Darlings"
The Quick And Dirty

Journalists have a responsibility for what Roy Peter Clark calls "civic clarity": taking responsibility for what readers, viewers, and listeners know and understand about the world.

Roy Peter Clark has been teaching writing at the Poynter Institute since 1977 and regularly offers up some of the best writing advice I see. Today, we talked about 

  • Writing differently during the pandemic
  • Living up to your duty as a writer to achieve civic clarity
  • Creating his new book, "Murder Your Darlings"
  • Learning that one of his best writing tips (putting the most important part at the end of the sentence) is as old as Roman times
  • Being a putter-inner instead of a taker-outter

Find Roy on Twitter, Poynter Institute, Nieman Storyboard, and Facebook.

You can listen to the interview using the player at the top of this page or read a complete rough transcript.


About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show.