4 Writing Practices for Nonprofit Success (Clay Hodges)

January 2020

The concept of writing might not be an activity that brings back pleasant memories (late-night term papers anyone?), but as attorney Clay Hodges illustrates, it is a powerful tool to activate in your productivity toolbox.  In episode 16 of the Path, Clay and I explore four different writing rituals and routines that can help you build skills for professional development and more effective communication.  How can you utilize journaling to monitor personal and professional progress? How can you improve your technical and persuasive writing abilities? How can you use writing to distill knowledge in an age of information overload?  Find out more in this episode, and how Clay has developed the discipline and focus required to be a consistently effective writer and communicator.

"Writing is a critical skill to succeed in any profession."



Clay Hodges is a partner at the law firm Harris Sarratt & Hodges, LLP, and represents clients in personal injury cases with a focus on medical device and failed drug litigation. He graduated with honors from UNC Chapel Hill in 1990, where he wrote his undergraduate honors thesis on the Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education Supreme Court case. He earned a master's degree in literature and received his JD from the UNC School of Law, where he won the Gressman-Pollitt Award for Excellence in Oral Advocacy. He's been recognized as a North Carolina Super Lawyer, is a member of the 2003-2005 class of the William C. Friday Fellowship for Human Relations, and has served as Chair of his Rotary Club's scholarship committee.  He has also taught law in the graduate studies program at Meredith College.


  • Writing for Self-Care: journaling/therapy, affirmations, charting habits

  • Writing to Distill/Acquire Knowledge: book reports, memo summaries

  • Writing to Goal-Set/Plan: weekly ritual, quarterly review, annual goals

  • Writing to Communicate & Produce Content: blog posts, articles, books 

  • Dan Harris' book 10% Happier

  • Cal Newport's book Deep Work

  • Clay's website and blog