I just finished reading the 30th Anniversary Edition of On Writing Well by William K. Zinsser and I’m wiser for having read it.
I can sum this book up easily/quickly with this sentence:
If you want to improve your writing, buy this book…then write write write.
What a great book!
Up until this book I thought that writing ‘serious’ non-fiction was something for other people to do…those people with a better command of the english language that I. I now realize that non-fiction doesn’t have to (and according to Zinsser shouldn’t be) a dry, boring tome. Non-fiction can be fun and take many forms and styles.
Another thing I learned: Writing is hard….and it should be! There are many times on this blog that I’ve done some ‘stream of consciousness’ writing and hit the “Publish” button and then later realized that I could have done so much more with the post if I’d just thought and did some rewrites. According to Zinsser, if you find yourself struggling with a piece you are writing, that means you are doing it right.
In this classic, Zinsser destroys the notion that a writer is someone ‘special’. Anyone can write and write well. But, it takes practice practice practice.
If you do any sort of writing or want to write, go buy this book immediately. It’s only $11 at amazon but will bring you a hundred times that in value and knowledge.
I enjoyed this book so much, I bought Zinsser’s “Writing to Learn“…look for a review of that book soon.