On Writing

Most people write the way they change lanes on the expressway: They forget to signal which way they’re going.

For most content being written today, the Cliff’s Notes versions would be a tome.

A self-published book is like a home-cooked meal. The creator thinks its nirvana, but no one is mistaking you for a first-rate restaurant.

Most writing is as obvious as a ham sandwich, but not nearly as nourishing.

To write well, you must be able to think well. And therein lies the problem….

Writers create coherent themes, be they fictional or non-fictional. It’s hard to do that in an 800-word piece about your cat compiled in an inspirational “Tuna Fish for the Pancreas.”

Words are the tools of our craft, but experience is the lifeblood. Most writers are malnourished and lack utensils.

Less is more, unless you’re writing a “how to get rich” book. Then even less is too much.

When you begin reading a paragraph and, before you know it, you’ve finished an article or a chapter, you’ve met a writer.

Proust took months to write one sentence, and he’s unreadable. Joyce didn’t use punctuation, and he’s unreadable. Don’t kid yourself. You can be unreadable a lot easier than that.

© Alan Weiss 2008. All rights reserved.

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