Should be right next to your Strunk and White


In a public speaking class in middle school, we had to give a speech on how to do something. I gave my speech on how to dougie… it was lit.One of my friends gave a speech on how to give a good speech, which I thought was an especially risky topic. It turned out to not be that good of a speech either.

Well, William Zinsser sidesteps this possible catastrophe by masterfully articulating what good writing is with his own writing. The classic book has been relevant and popular for forty years and its lessons should be returned to often.

Here are some notes to encourage you to read the book as soon as possible.

Simplify, Simplify, Simplify

Clear thinking becomes clear writing

The reader has a short attention span, with many forces competing for that attention, if the reader is lost, the writer has not been careful enough

Ask yourself all the time, what am I trying to say?

Be grateful for everything you delete

Style should be organic, trying to add it is like wearing a toupee

Consider your audience, who are you writing for?

The adjective that exists as decoration is a self-indulgence for the writer and a burden for the reader.

Every little qualifier whittles away a fraction of the reader’s trust. Believe in yourself and what you are saying. Don’t be somewhat tired, be tired.

For an interview

      • pick someone who interests you
      • do some research, get a list of good questions
      • never go into an interview with pen and pad out, warm them up to it

Writers who write interestingly keep themselves interested

Don’t fixate on the final finished product of whatever you are writing(focus on the input not the output)

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