Blake Smith

create. code. learn.


emailing like an artist

If you’re going to email, do it like an artist.

Our job is to produce great work, and part of that work means bringing other people along with us. It’s not about fear, but about a desire to share. It’s about good ideas being allowed to blossom, and bad ideas being recognized early before they’re implemented. Emailing like an artist is not about mass, or quantity; it’s about precision and grease.

It takes a true master to recognize when that email you’re about to send is only trying to justify your job. It takes a true artist to know which emails are worth responding to, and which ones are not. It takes a skilled craftsman to see that initiaiting something (even a simple email) takes courage. It’s usually much easier to hide and say nothing at all.

Ask yourself these questions as you write your next email:

  1. Am I trying to share something good and meaningful?
  2. Am I being humble and trying to help other people, or simple justify my job to everyone?
  3. If I’m going to interrupt everyone to read this, is this relevant to the people I’m sending it to? (can I make the list of recipients smaller?)
  4. What can I remove from this email? Can I simplify my message?

about the author

Blake Smith is a Principal Software Engineer at Sprout Social.