My wife took a look at the first version of something I was writing not long ago and said,
“Dammit, man, that’s high school stuff.”
I have to tell her to wait until the seventh draft, it’ll work out all right.
I don’t know why that should be so, that the first or second draft of everything
I write reads that way.

—James Thurber

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Everything that can be said can be said clearly.

—Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Getting it wrong is part of
getting it right.

—Charles Handy

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Respect your reader. The niftiest turn of phrase, the most elegant flight of rhetorical fancy, isn’t worth beans next to a clear thought clearly expressed.

—Jeff Goldfield

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. . .  novelists . . . have, on average, about the same IQs as the cosmetic consultants at Bloomingdales’s department store. our power is patience. We have discovered that writing allows even a stupid person to seem halfway intelligent, if only that person will write the same thought over and over again, improving it just a little bit each time. It is a lot like inflating a blimp with a bicycle pump. Anyone can do it. All it takes is time.

—Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday, 128

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No iron can stab the heart with such force
as a period put just at the right place.

—Isaac Babel

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