Simon Says » communiqué 024/October 2018

Simon Says: communiqué 024/October 2018

Hello everyone

I often like to start these emails with a reference to something in the news.

Trouble is, every time I switch on the news at the moment—whether the news is about the UK or the wider world—people just seem to be shouting at each other. It’s not pretty. Civility seems like a lost cause…on all sides. And ironically, each side thinks it is being civil and the other side are the Barbarians.

I can only suggest that you pick up a book instead.

A Quick Reminder

A quick reminder in case you missed last month’s edition of Simon Says: I’ve made a small presentational change to Simon Says.

For shorter articles and announcements, there is no change. However, for longer articles, instead of posting the full article in the email, I am now including a summary with a link to the full article which will be on my website. If the summary interests, you can click the link and read the article; if the summary doesn’t grab you, you can quickly skip onto the next piece.

The main effect of this change is that the Simon Says monthly email is shorter. There will still be as much to read—in fact, as this month shows, there will probably be more—but it will be presented in a different manner.

Write for Influence

Regular readers will know that I am fascinated by language and by how we—as humans beings—communicate with one another. You will have noticed that it is a topic that I return to…

Now, I’ve written a book about one aspect of communication: how we communicate when the aim is to influence another person.

From the Back Cover

No one writes with the aim of being misunderstood. No one communicates without intending some effect.

We write for a purpose.

We write with the intent of bringing about change.

That change may be small; that change may be significant. You may want to help your reader learn a new fact. You may be advising your reader on a course of action. Or you may be trying to encourage your reader to consider a different perspective and revisit their opinions.

Whether you’re writing a short web post, a letter, an essay, a report, a thesis, an entire book, or anything in between, if you’re writing to advocate for change, then you will want to maximize the effectiveness of your words.

Write for Influence is your guide to framing your words in the most compelling manner to maximize the authority of your written message and achieve the results you want.

More About the Book

In case it’s not clear, this book is non-fiction—there’s no story in there. If you’re interested and want to find out more, Write for Influence is available (in electronic and paper formats) from all leading retailers:


iTunes (Apple)


Google Play Books

Barnes & Noble/nook

Everybody Hurts In Their Own Way

In essence, the process of writing a book involves sitting still for long periods of time while tapping buttons. One result of this button tapping is a story. Another result is physical strain which may lead to repetitive strain injuries.

As someone who types a lot, I’ve had to make changes to how I work. One of my most expensive changes was to buy a new keyboard.

You can read more about my choice of keyboard and some of the reasons for this purchase. And as an aside, this is the keyboard that I used to write all my fiction and Write for Influence.

If you want to know more about preventing or reducing pain when you spend many hours a day in front of a computer, you should also read this piece about setting up a comfortable working environment.

Killing Eve

That’s it for October, I’ll be back in November when, among other things, I’ll talk about Killing Eve (which you can find on iPlayer in the UK or BBC America).

Until then.

All the best