Rough Draft-logo

Rough Draft

23 Favorites

More Information


United States




Demian Farnworth delivers the essential writing advice you need to succeed online, in about four minutes a day, four days a week. If you’re a pure writer, and you wonder how you’ll be able to build your own online platform that actually gets seen, this show is your shortcut.






102 The Beautiful Message Joseph Campbell Was Really Trying to Tell Us

In the last episode of Rough Draft, your host explored storytelling from a myriad of angles, culminating in a thorough vetting of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey concept. This time we thoroughly vet Campbell, the man. And we do it with superstar Campbell scholar Robert Segal. Professor Segal is an unstoppable fount of knowledge about Campbell... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:55:15

101 The Greatest Storytelling Guide This Side of Saturn

Marketers are agog over stories. For good reason … A story lifts a person out of her ordinary world … and stories take her on a journey that ultimately leads to a vision of herself as a better version of herself. This is marketing that educates your audience through the storytelling arc. And one way... Listen to episode

Duration: 01:11:02

100 The Episode That Explains the Future of Rough Draft

So, we are making a few changes here at Rough Draft. Good changes. Three in fact. One, after this episode, I m taking a month break. A month to clear my head. A month to plan the next 100 episodes, namely the content and the format. Listen to this twelve minute episode to learn about the... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:13:05

099 A Better Way to Find Big Ideas (That Make You Stand Out)

Some astronomers and philosophers make the grand, if not absurd, claim that we are ten thousand things, but one substance. Perhaps ancient stardust. Fair enough. I have my own absurd claim: behind one single article by a seasoned writer is the weight of one thousand books, one hundreds movies, hours of lectures, a litany of... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:18:11

098 How to Grab Great Ideas (Without Using Your Hands)

It s funny. How we forget things. Sublime reflections and exalted ideas. Like they were never even there. But if they were so sublime and exalted, why did they not remain with us? And it s funny how we fear losing these ideas. The lengths we will go to preserve them. The legends are legion. Keeping waterproof... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:08:17

097 The Problem with the ‘Hell-For-Leather’ Writing Movement

As of late, it s fashionable to write hell for leather. In fact, there s a hot cottage industry in the writing culture. But is it good for the writing community? Or detrimental? For lack of potentially better terms, let s call this trend the The Hell-For-Leather Writing Movement. Or HFLWM. You see, HFLWM in titles like How... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:06:54

096 Why These Famous Time-Management Techniques Are Ruining Your Productivity

Most creative people will take your head off if you butt in while they are flowing. Man. That’s for good reason. But that s exactly what the Pomodoro technique does, a popular time management trick designed to boost your productivity. The concept is simple: set a kitchen timer for 25 minutes and work until it rings.... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:05:27

095 Freaking Out Over the Thought of Writing a First Draft? Try Scaffolding

Your idea stretches out to the end of nowhere. One hundred words? One thousand? What s the angle? The structure? That s just one decision among many you must make before you write. And just one more decision that adds to your anxiety. Fail to figure this one out and your idea sits idle. Deserted. Should this... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:07:21

094 How to Avoid Obscurity by Misusing Language

Language is software (your brain, the hardware). A form of coding. It communicates information, and ideas travel from one person to the next through language. As babies, our first goal is to learn the language. Master the fundamentals. Learn your scales. And most of us are fully satisfied with this. Great writers, however, aren t. They... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:07:00

093 A Creative Email Trick for Becoming a Plain Spoken Writer

Writing is weird. Unlike speaking, it’s not something we do naturally. And unless we train ourselves out of it, that weirdness renders some creative, but wooden and dense prose. Speaking is a natural act. Every single human being has the ability to do it. And at a very young age. The reason why, says cognitive... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:06:49

092 Let This Stupid Machine Read Your Copy Out Loud

You know that conventional wisdom that you should read everything you write out loud? Let’s put a twist on that advice. Say you lost your voice. Or are simply lazy. But you just finished a 300-word article, and are ready to refine it. It’s natural to read it out loud to see how it sounds.... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:04:56

091 This Free App Will Help You Write Bold and Clear Copy

So there s this new browser app that allows you to write/drop content into a text box and click Edit to determine if your writing is bold and clear. It s called the Hemingway Editor. It’s simple to use, but the question remains: does it work? And how does Hemingway actual stack up against his own app?... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:05:16

090 Four Writing Lessons I Learned from This Depressing Music Project

Hey, because this is episode 90, let s do something a little different today. Let s talk music. Tell me if you recognize any of these names: – The Antlers – Real Estate – Tune-Yards – M83 – Beirut – Wye Oak – Feist – Tom Waits – The Head and the Heart – James Blake –... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:09:54

089 The Clear-Copy Rule of Writing for the Web

So many English teachers shoved complex sentences down my throat that now a simple sentence almost makes my skin crawl.” That s Tim Biden, during a Twitter conversation about writing for the web. He was responding to a tweet where I shared a link to my first Copyblogger post: The Disgustingly Simple Rule for Web Writing... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:07:17

088 Three Ways Writers Must Adjust in a World Dominated by Social Media

So the job of the online copywriter is to attract attention, stoke interest, create desire, and incite action. AIDA. Attracting attention used to be mainly concerned with stopping the reader dead in his tracks. A good headline will do that. Before the web in the world of print advertisers bought space in magazines... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:08:02

087 How This Social Media Thing Kicked Web Writing Right in the Feels

Before social media entered the stage a marketer s job was two-fold: write a compelling landing page and drive traffic to that landing page. But the internet has changed all of that. Not so much the internet, but social media. In particular — networks like Twitter, Reddit, 4chan, and YouTube the most potent platforms for... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:07:30

086 An Elegant Story on Outsmarting Career Obsolescence

Ever meet someone who completely revamps the way you look at an issue? This is the story of how an older gentleman changed my mind about what it takes to be successful. The first time I met Peter Hut was in a swank, open-air lounge where the concrete floor shone from a glossy finish. Peter... Listen to episode

Duration: 00:09:39

Raise the Stakes! 13 Writing Ideas That Really Work

Never forget that the formula for writing for the web is simple: it must be clear, concise, and compelling. We’ve covered how to make it clear and concise. Let’s look at what it really takes to make it compelling. Yesterday we saw how you can make copy compelling by raising the stakes with cancer andPlay Episode

Duration: 00:09:36

The Two Things That Make a Dull Product Irresistible

When you say the word “data” few people perk up their ears. It’s a cold word that brings to mind row after row of zeros and ones. Yet you and I need data to help us make sound business decisions, uncover lost opportunities, and perfect our current efforts. So how do you talk about softwarePlay Episode

Duration: 00:07:12

Proof That Stories Can Increase the Value of Even ‘Worthless’ Items

Marketers are agog over stories. For good reason. Your stories lift a prospect out of her ordinary world … and then takes her on a journey that ultimately leads to a vision of herself as a better version of herself. In 1984, Apple brought it’s own story to the market, one in which agile, nonconformistsPlay Episode

Duration: 00:10:58

See More