It’s the start of fall semester and that means time to unleash my favorite quotes. Since I hope to inspire my writing classes, I thought why not share a bit of insight with fellow bloggers.
First, you must know, I adore William Zinsser’s book On Writing Well. If you’ve not heard of this book and you write, do yourself a favor–read his book! Zinsser is the master at illustrating the art of writing. He’s simple, straightforward, clever, and blunt–yes pretty blunt– but that’s what makes his teaching style so memorable. I can’t help but smile when reading his candid remarks. He’s right in so many ways–nothing is held back regarding the execution of writing.
Photo courtesy of kaboompics.com
So here are five quotes that can inspire you to keep blogging. AND if you’re not blogging yet, here are five quotes that might inspire you to get started.
First, “Don’t try to visualize the great mass audience. There is no such audience—every reader is a different person.”
We know this, but sometimes what reaches one person may not reach another. We must realize and be open to this idea. Me included! Recently, a friend shared she did not like my first blog at all. We hope our friends are not included in this group, but the truth is they have different taste too!
“…writing is a craft, not an art, and that the man who runs away from his craft because he lacks inspiration is fooling himself.”
It is as Zinsser says: “writing is a craft” and masterpieces are hard work. Most of us are probably part-time writers/bloggers. Think about this: do you run away from your day profession because we don’t feel like working today? Then why would you try an escape your writing passion?
“There is no minimum length for a sentence that’s acceptable in the eyes of God.”
I just love this one. Okay so as a writing teacher I might argue this, but, and I say but, if you know how to correctly punctuate throughout a sentence, well now, anything is possible–and God does not care how we appear before him; he will certainly not care that the sentence runneth over. 🙂
“If you’re not a person who says “indeed” or “moreover,” or who calls someone an individual (“he’s a fine individual”), please don’t write it.”
I’m raising my hand in guilt! You might recall I was in the Air Force for 22 1/2 years. Well now…I did not exactly get to walk around and practice my craft. And I have used moreover, many times–because it’s loved in Air Force ceremonial script writing! By who? I don’t know; it’s always been done that way. And now, I hope you see my error. What Zinsser says is very clear: be yourself! Let the audience know who YOU are through your writing.
“It won’t do to say that the reader is too dumb or too lazy to keep pace with the train of thought. If the reader is lost, it’s usually because the writer hasn’t been careful enough.”
True, so true. You must read your piece as the reader might read your piece. I always stress to my students, “Look for areas you can be more specific. If you feel something can be clarified then your hunch is right; you must make your point clearer.”
Bells ringing…. and there you have it: five simple quotes. For more quotes, you can view the link below. I have my own copy of Zinsser’s book, and if you have never read a book on writing, I highly recommend this one. No sales pitch here; I receive nothing in return, just the satisfaction of sharing good advice.
Oh and I should mention, while I do try to perfect my writing, I’m of the opinion that I can never reach the “state of perfection” in any piece. I believe I enter the “state of acceptance”–not in this will do, but rather this is the clearest depiction of perfection. How about you? How do you know when you’re ready to send your piece off? I would love to hear about it, or any other methods you use for inspiration. Best to you!
Featured images courtesy of kaboompics.com