The Take Away is a new blog strand that builds on the Essential Craft Books series, but widens it to take in podcasts, articles, tweets, in fact anything that contains a kernel of wisdom about the processes of planning, writing and revision.

Alongside developing the Write This Now app (and using it to write, too) in recent months I have been grappling with the kind of editorial content I should be producing for this site. Clearly, given the application’s core purpose, I want to provide writing-related content. To that end, I have been working on the Essential Craft Books series — in which I distill some essentials from useful writing books. That seems like a decent direction — I love craft books, and I’m always looking for new exercises or checklists for the app. However, it takes a while to summarise and extract action items from a content rich book, even one I know and love.

Also, by focusing on books alone, I’ve been ignoring my notes on articles, podcasts, talks and more — many of which would make fine posts here.

So, from this week on, I’m trialling a new strand: The Take Away. In these short articles I’ll try to distill what’s useful for the writer in any and all media. My interest often skews towards issues of planning, revision and story structure, but if I find it useful and interesting and if it relates to writing, then it’s a candidate. If I find exercises or checklists I can add to the Write This Now app, then so much the better.