Ernest Hemingway and Ray Edwards

Here's what I have in common with Papa Hemingway: I love words, and I'm a writer.

When it comes to writing ads (and when I say ads, I mean everything from web pages to emails to postcards!), it's  hard to find better advice than Ernest Hemingway's Four Rules of Writing.

Hemingway's Four Rules of Writing

1. Use short sentences.
2. Use short first paragraphs.
3. Use vigorous English.
4. Be positive, not negative.

Those rules are posted on the wall behind my computer monitor. You could do worse than to post them near yours.


Ray Edwards is a world-renowned copywriter and communications strategist, writing for some of the most powerful voices in leadership and business including New York Times bestselling authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen (Chicken Soup for the Soul) and Tony Robbins. Ray is a sought-after speaker and author, hosts a popular weekly podcast, and blogs at

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  • Thank Ray, for that nugget of info.

    You gotta love that Hemmingway simplicity.


  • Joe

    Hey, Ray. Show the man some respect as well as love–spell hisa name right. 🙂 Lemmings has two m’s; Papa has only one.

  • Oops. Thanks JJoe.

  • Joe

    No prob, Raye.

  • Excellent rules to share, Ray. Thanks!

  • What an inspiration it would be to have a copy writing conference, right on Hemmingways turf in Key West.