On Writing Badly

If this isn’t the best description of why writing goes awry, I don’t know what is: 

The novice writer, he argues, has a “natural tendency … to think primarily of himself—hence to write primarily for himself.” …

“He thinks through an idea only until it is passably clear to him, since, for his purposes, it needn’t be any clearer; he dispenses with transitions because it’s enough that he knows how his ideas connect; he uses a private system—or no system—of punctuation; he doesn’t trouble to define his terms because he understands perfectly well what he means by them; he writes page after page without bothering to vary his sentence structure; he leaves off page numbers and footnotes; he paragraphs only when the mood strikes him; he ends abruptly when he decides he’s had enough; he neglects to proofread the final job because the writing is over.”

Definitely going to have to give this to my future students.

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