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The best advice about writing I know of is contained in these two essays:

Politics and the English Language:

The Prevention of Literature:

Somebody once said, "The simple declarative sentence is the soul of good writing." I don't remember who it was, but remembering that phrase has rescued me from some extremely tangled paragraphs over the years.

It also helps to have something to say. I've been a member of the fraternity for seventeen years and I still find myself wasting entire days on certain pieces before realizing that, despite composing some nice-sounding words, I still don't have a single idea in my entire head. When that happens, you either rethink your material and arrange it so that it actually says something, or you set it aside and move on. The better you are at realizing when you're not actually writing but merely pushing ink around, the better off you're going to be.

Beyond these suggestions, I'm not sure I have anything in particular to add, except to say that if it's not ending up on paper, whatever it is you're up to is not to be considered writing. That doesn't mean that what you're doing is bad or unimportant. In fact, whatever you are actually doing might be far more important than whatever it was you intended to achieve by writing. But that doesn't make it writing, and it's helpful to remind yourself of that from time to time.

Oh, and one last thing: If your deadline is less than an hour away and you still haven't gotten it together, none of the foregoing rules apply.

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