Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.—Francis Bacon, "Of Studies"
Did you hear about the young spring poet who sent some verses to the editor of a magazine. The verses were entitled, "Why do I live?" It is reported the editor's reply was as follows: "You live just because you happened to send your poem by post instead of bringing it in person."
"You waste too much paper," said the editor.
"But how can I economize?"
"By writing on both sides."
"But you won't accept stories written on both sides of the sheet."
"I know, but you'd save paper just the same."—Heywood Advertiser
How to write forceful prose: Mull over thoughts that are mullable, and cull every word that's cullable.—Tom Pease, Editor and Publisher
Jensen: "So your nephew has taken up writing. Has he sold anything yet?"
Benson: "Yes—his overcoat, his radio, and his wrist watch."
Unfortunately, a lot of people who have half a mind to write a book, do so.
Webster has the words and I pick them up from where they be; here a word and there a word—it's so easy, 'tis absurd. I merely 'range them in a row; Webster's done the work, you know. Word follows word, 'til inch by inch, I have a column—what a cinch! I take the words that Webster penned and merely lay them end to end!—Don Marquis
After the young reporter had been repeatedly admonished to cut his stories to the bare essentials, he decided that the editor really meant it; so the next item he turned in read like this:
"J. Smith looked up the elevator shaft to see if the car was on its way down. It was. Age, forty-five."
All authors know the sting of receiving rejection slips from publishers, but we have just read a rejection note from a superlatively elite Chinese publisher which would be almost a pleasure for any author to receive. Wrote the publisher to the author thus:
"Illustrious Brother of the Sun and Moon! Look upon the slave who rolls at thy feet, who kisses the earth before thee, and demands thy charity permission to speak and live. We have read thy manuscript with delight. By the bones of our ancestors, we swear that never before have we encountered such a masterpiece! Should we print it, his Majesty the Emperor would order us to take it as a criterion and never again print anything which was not equal to it. As that would not be possible before 10,000 years, all tremblingly we return the manuscript and beg thee 10,000 pardons. See—my head is at thy feet, and I am thy slave forever and ever!"
Dr. John Owen said to King Charles II, 'Your Majesty, if I could write as does that tinker—John Bunyan —in Bedford, I would gladly lay down all my learning.'
In prison, where he wrote his Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan had only a Bible and a Concordance, but the Holy Spirit guided his pen as he wrote.
(Jer. 36. 2, 4; Heb. 2. 2; Philem. 19)