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On writing well

Posted on:December 4, 2022 at 03:22 PM

“On Writing Well” is one of my favorite books that has inspired me to continuously improve my writing. It is one of several books I have in my Billy bookcase that I use to develop my writing skills and styles. The author, William Zinsser, covers many key elements that can help aspiring writers find their strengths and learn how to craft their writing. His advice encourages writers to develop their own style and voice, turning their passion into a profession. As Zinsser says, “Fighting clutter is like fighting weeds – the writer is always slightly behind. New varieties sprout overnight, and by noon they are part of American speech.”

The book inspires writers to continually improve their writing and is considered a must-have resource for anyone seeking to master the art of nonfiction writing.

If you want to gain fundamental principles of being a writer, this is the book you should always have with you.

In conclusion, William Zinsser is considered the father of “The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction.”

The New York Times’s Douglas Martin wrote about the author and his larger than life book:

William Zinsser, Author of ‘On Writing Well,’ Dies at 92

It became a book that editors and teachers encouraged writers to reread annually in the manner of another classic on the craft of writing, “The Elements of Style,” by William Strunk Jr. and E. B. White.

His advice was straightforward: Write clearly. Guard the message with your life. Avoid jargon and big words. Use active verbs. Make the reader think you enjoyed writing the piece.

William Zinsser's On Writing Well

Roy Peter Clark of The Poynter Institute wrote this gigantic title to praise William’s work: “Why William Zinsser’s writing book is still number one”.

Zinsser is too tough on American writing, unable or unwilling to recognize the natural and necessary redundancies inherent in all language, and that jargon, while inflated, may suit the purposes of specialized groups of writers and thinkers. (“Aristotle, what’s up with all those unnecessary abstractions in your “Nichomachean Ethics“? Simplify, man. Just tell the kid what’s right and wrong.”)