Unix Philosophy Applied To Writing: Say One Thing And Say It Well

In Unix philosophy (a programming philosophy), there’s a mantra that says, “Each program should do one thing and do it well, and they should work well together (paraphrased).” This leads to small programs that can be easily “linked” to other programs—like how small lego blocks can be used to create a lego tower.

It turns out that philosophy can be applied to writing. When writing, my goal is to say one thing and say it well—not two, not five, not one-and-a-half, just one thing. It might be short, but it doesn’t matter. Each piece of writing must stand on their own two feet, and they should be coherent when connected. This leads to modular writings (or tweets) that can act like lego blocks—easy to connect, easy to reference.

Who knew that a programming philosophy could be applied to writing?