I'm a dog person. If a lost dog showed up in my yard, he/she would be welcomed inside with open arms and installed on my couch by lunch. But a cat...? I have limited experience. And by "limited" I mean zero.
But I felt something watching me—there's no other way to describe it—and looked over. And there were those eyes—following my every move. Its legs tucked underneath loaf-style—like its whole body could rest neatly in a baking pan. The loaf did not move a muscle. (Is it hurt? Or is that just a cat thing? Whatever it is... it's cute.) The cat was still there an hour later. (It doesn't look hurt? It looks comfy?)
Great writing starts with the audience. Morning Brew delivers news and insights to the "business leader of tomorrow"—code for "Millennials." The average age of Morning Brew subscribers is 30. Facebook has famously been shedding Millennials just like my spaniel Augie has been famously shedding his winter coat. ("Fur" is truly a condiment in this house.) That topic sentence works with Morning Brew's intended audience in a way it wouldn't for an audience of Boomers, who are still happily posting their Words With Friends scores on their Facebook profile pages.
Great writing says to the reader: I see you. Morning Brew aligns itself with the audience with a kind of knowing nod: You've left Facebook, right? Or you rarely post, right? You use it only to monitor exes and people getting engaged from high school, right? "Us, too!" Morning Brew says. "We are you." They mirror the collective reality of their audience in a spare 7 words—further cementing the Morning Brew brand as a news source with hip, sharp writing. Would you see that topic sentence from, say, the Washington Post? Maybe. But probably not.
Great writing doesn't need big words, big ideas, big anything. Maybe you think this sentence is a little... basic? It is. But it's also not. The beauty of the sentence is its simplicity. It's not overwritten. It doesn't overexplain or play for another laugh. It's a universal truth expressed simply.
➡️ Great writing has beats, pauses, full stops, sounds. Sentences are music. Words are sounds you hear in your head. Sentences thrum and vibrate to make the paragraph and the paragraphs make the page sing. The beauty of the Morning Brew sentence is that it is perfectly balanced... you start the sentence not knowing exactly where it's going ("like everyone else"...? What are we leaving, exactly...?), then it comes in after the dramatic pause of the comma with the declarative punchline: Sandberg is leaving.
I message a cat-friend named Eileen. (A friend who has cats, I mean—Eileen is not a cat.)
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