Tag: writing

Things That Will Kick Your Ass: Written Word Edition

Over the years I’ve given away every copy of this thing that has passed through my hands …

The Elements of Style

… but after perusing a whitepaper-in-progress have decided that generosity is no longer an option.

MG signing off (with the work cut out for him, not due to difficulty as much as volume)

Something Thoreau wrote on September 2, 1851

“We cannot write well or truly but what we write with gusto. The body, the senses, must conspire with the mind. Expression is the act of the whole man, that our speech may be vascular. The intellect is powerless to express through without the aid of the heart and the liver and of every member. Often I feel that my head stands out too dry, when it should be immersed. A writer, a man writing, is the scribe of all nature; he is the corn and the grass and the atmosphere writing. It is always essential that we love to do what we are doing, do it with a heart. The maturity of the mind, however, may perchance consist with a certain dryness.”

Good thing it is so easy to discern that which is written solely for a paycheck, and that which is penned with belief and conviction.

MG signing off (as what he was conveying can be distilled into four words: lame filler content sucks)

Constructive criticism

The Elements of StyleA second round of thoughts on some work I’m doing hits the inbox:

Take the Strunk and White principle of “less is more” and apply it mercilessly and see what the outcome is.

I look left, and on the second shelf up find the reference. It’s the Third Edition, which I bought used from the university bookstore more than two decades ago.

Several years back I myself suggested The Elements of Style to someone. They told me they didn’t have time to read any books.

I at once took that as a “screw you” and that they didn’t care much about what they were creating either. You can surmise how it turned out.

I look at my latest piece, immediately recognizing exactly where my critic is coming from.

Then I decide I’d rather not make the same mistake.