Writing Quote, January 28, 2010 — “Writing with Effort, Reading with Pleasure”

“What is written without effort is in generally read without pleasure.”
— Samuel Johnson

How hard do you work before you're satisfied with your writing?

How long and how hard do you work before you’re satisfied with your writing?

www.inkthinkerblog.com — If there was ever a man with a knack for getting right to the point, it was Samuel Johnson. We’re talking about the same guy who said, “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.” While writing for pay is entirely up to you, I do implore you as one of your potential future readers to write with effort.

I don’t believe that writing should be a chore, but it shouldn’t be easy, either. Just as a sharp knife cuts easily through even the toughest obstacle, finely honed writing can get right into the soul of your reader. If your first draft is a breeze, good for you. Just don’t assume you’re done yet. Earlier this week I told you to turn off your inner editor. This is indeed key to getting that first draft out of your head and onto the page. But once it’s there, now is the time the real work begins: the work of revising, of killing your darlings, of perfecting your product.

Done and imperfect is worlds better than never done because I’ll never get it perfect — don’t get me wrong. There’s a middle ground, though, between laboring intensely for scores of hours or dashing off words, Devil may care. Find it and embrace it, and your readers will reward you with their eyes, their hearts, and their minds.

Do you believe writing can and/or should be easy?


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4 comments… add one
  • Lorraine Jan 28, 2010

    I love the anecdote shared by William Zinsser in his book,On Writing Well.

    Zinsser was invited to a local school to talk about his life as a writer. A surgeon–who had written a few magazine articles–was also invited.

    The surgeon talked about what fun it was to write and how it eased his tensions. He said he never wrote unless he’s in a good mood–his writing just flowed. And when it didn’t flow he went fishing, took a walk and didn’t push himself.

    Zinsser told the audience writing wasn’t easy for him. And it was not fun. It was hard and lonely. He shared his belief that rewriting is the essence of writing.

    He told the audience he established a writing schedule–and he stuck to it whether he felt like it or not. “If your job is to write every day, you learn to do it like any other job.”

    At the end of their presentation, the surgeon told Zinsser he was fascinated–he never knew writing could be hard.

    Zinsser told the doctor he’s equally amazed: It never occurred to him writing could be easy. “Maybe,” said Zinsser, “I should take up surgery on the side.”
    .-= Lorraine´s last blog ..Are Copywriters an Endangered Species? =-.

  • Customized Fat Loss Jul 19, 2011

    I like writing. I don’t do it for the money. I do it for me. It’s an easier way to express myself but I do believe in putting effort into my writing to come up with beautiful strings of words that is worth reading.

  • Bodybuilding Diets Aug 2, 2011

    What if your writing has already turned into a job? Does it mean you are no longer writing passionately?

  • I’m not a good writer, but i make sure that whatever I write there are people who can relate to it, and we can talk about it and have a good chat.

    – Jack Leak

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