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On Writing

Curve-billed Thrasher, Alamogordo NM, November 12, 2011

I've never studied writing and I struggle with it every day. Here are some passages bearing on this mysterious art.

  • I Like Writing
    • "I like finding feelings in words' ..."
  • The Value of Notebooks
    • "I never actually get around to reading them and using what I've written, but I do tend to reproduce the same thoughts later."
  • What a Real Essay Is
    • "In a real essay, you don't take a position and defend it. You notice a door that's ajar, and you open it and walk in to see what's inside."
  • Writing From the Inside Out
    • "It takes a while - often years - for the writer to get to appreaciate his effect on others..."
  • Give it, Give it All, Give it Now
    • "The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now."
  • Or So I Feel
    • "To be nobody-but-yourself—in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else—means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."
  • Finding a Balance in Execution, Reflection and Articulation
    • On building tools, finding a balance in execution, reflection and articulation — and teaching others to find that balance, too.
  • Writing Forces Thinking
    • "writing something that other people will read forces you to think well."