If you’re a writer, chances are you’re far too familiar with feeling stuck. Writer’s block and the struggle to publish your work can be a real burden and make you feel like perhaps you’re not a writer after all. But have no fear, if you’ve read this far, something deep inside you knows that you must write!
Verlyn Klinkenborg’s new book “Several Short Sentences about Writing” is a brief (cause ain’t nobody got time…) yet profoundly helpful collection of suggestions about writing, and writing well. His prose are to-the-point, invigorating, and undeniably true.
Here is an excerpt from the beginning:
Here, in short, is what I want to tell you.
Know what each sentence says,
What it doesn’t say,
And what it implies.
Of these, the hardest is knowing what each sentence actually says.
At first, it will help to make short sentences,
Short enough to feel the variations in length.
Leave space between them for the things that words can’t really say.
Pay attention to the rhythm, first and last.
Imagine it this way:
One by one, each sentence takes the stage.
it says the very thing it comes into existence to say.
Then it leaves the stage.
It doesn’t help the next one up or the previous one down.
It doesn’t wave to its friends in the audience
Or pause to be acknowledged or applauded.
It doesn’t talk about what it’s saying.
It simply says its piece and leaves the stage.
This isn’t the whole art of writing well.
It isn’t even most of it.
But it’s a place to begin, and to begin from again and again.