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McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normally Do.

Stashed in: Words!, Communication, Awesome, life, Mark Twain, Design and Development, Writing!

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Writing is a muscle. Smaller than a hamstring and slightly bigger than a bicep, and it needs to be exercised to get stronger. Think of your words as reps, your paragraphs as sets, your pages as daily workouts. Think of your laptop as a machine like the one at the gym where you open and close your inner thighs in front of everyone, exposing both your insecurities and your genitals. Because that is what writing is all about.

Christina, awesome. I love this:

Mark Twain once said, “Show, don’t tell.” This is an incredibly important lesson for writers to remember; never get such a giant head that you feel entitled to throw around obscure phrases like “Show, don’t tell.” Thanks for nothing, Mr. Cryptic.


There are two things more difficult than writing. The first is editing, the second is expert level Sudoku where there’s literally two goddamned squares filled in. While editing is a grueling process, if you really work hard at it, in the end you may find that your piece has fewer words than it did before. Which, is great. Perhaps George Bernard Shaw said it best when upon sending a letter to a close friend, he wrote, “I’m sorry this letter is so long, I didn’t have time to make it shorter.” No quote better illustrates the point that writers are very busy.

I love this. It is making me laugh...I try very hard (and often fail) to live by the Shaw quote. It's probably my biggest area of opportunity. I feel blessed to have had a couple strong writers school me in the "STFU" style of writing, and I find if I just let my mind rest I can cut out 50%, which was probably meant for the recycle heap anyway.

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