Summer 2022

My Thoughts

I enjoyed reading this entire reading “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser. He was able to captivate my attention throughout each section.  He mentions that ultimately the product that any writer has to sell isn’t the subject written about but who they are and to accomplish great work requires skill, which can be learned. I was under the impression that writing was an art and not achievable, but his words have shown me that it’s a craft which can be mastered.

Another point I liked was that every writer has their own style and there isn’t a right or wrong way to do this work. I agree with this because I can relate to him upon reading some material which might not seem interesting at a first glance, but upon reading it the author had a captivating form in expressing the ideas and facts about the particular subject. Whereas, other more appealing subjects have resulted in pure disappointment. It all comes down to how the writer displays their own style.  Zinsser says good writing has an aliveness that keeps the reader reading from one paragraph to the next, achieving the greatest clarity and strength.

Lastly, “clear thinking becomes clear writing; one can’t exist without the other.” So, if I can achieve a clear idea, organize my thoughts,  have a good attitude, and learn how to use my skills to express my personality, then I could  become a decent writer. I can also put myself in the reader’s shoes to examine my writing, because like he said, if the reader is lost, it’s usually because the writer hasn’t been careful enough. So it is a great idea to follow all his advice. Revising ones work multiple times to declutter, stripping it down as much as possible so it can be built back up, and being ourselves to display our authenticity.

1 Comment

  1. Mark Noonan


    This is a well-written and thoughtful response to Zinsser’s writing that certainly follows his principle that “clear thinking = clear writing.” You raise many excellent points, especially your
    pick-up that writing is a “craft which can be mastered.” Nicely done. Make sure however to write your comments under the “comments” button (at the top of my week’s post) to be sure it goes in the right place.

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