Category Archives: Quotations

“Writing is a skill, not a talent”

“Writing is a skill, not a talent, and this difference is important because a skill can be improved by practice.” –Robert Stacy McCain, The Other McCain

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Writing is a pipeline for ideas

“Ideas are not really alive if they are confined only to a person’s mind.”—Nancy Duarte One of the most beautiful parts of writing (or of speaking) is what I call idea flow. That is, writing is a pipeline that allows … Continue reading

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“If you can’t write clearly…”

“If you can’t write clearly, you probably don’t think nearly as well as you think you do.” —Kurt Vonnegut

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The most valuable of all talents

“The most valuable of all talents is that of never using two words when one will do.” —Thomas Jefferson

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Anyone who can think can write

Some wise words about writing and thinking: Now, any man who can think can write. Writing is merely recording. If a man has anything to record, writing can record it. The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a … Continue reading

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In praise of the period

The period is the stop sign of the punctuation world. By providing a boundary, a period delineates a thought. Its presence divides and its absence connects. To employ it is to make a statement; to leave it out, equally so. … Continue reading

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Why write? Seth Godin answers

“I don’t write books because I want to, and I don’t write books to make a living. I write books because I have no choice. I have to do it because this idea—whatever it is searing a hole in my … Continue reading

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Stephen King: Writing as “mental telepathy”

In On Writing, Stephen King explains what writing is. Telepathy, of course. It’s amusing when you stop it think about it—for years people have argued about whether or not such a thing exists . . . and all the time  … Continue reading

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Writing advice from Mark Twain

Richard Nordquist has collected a Top Ten list of Mark Twain’s writing tips. My favorites: Use the right word, not its second cousin. And: Use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English—it … Continue reading

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The Art of the Quotation

It seems a bit odd, doesn’t it? We can give our own words sparkle, heft, and melody by using someone else’s. The long history of the art of quotation—shortly after Adam said the first words, somebody quoted him—amply proves its … Continue reading

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