Sunday, January 29, 2012

On Writing

I am reading "The Big Question" by Steven E Landsburg. I will like to share what Landsburg has to say about writing as follows:

"The bane of a college professor's existence is that the student who has been taught a writing course that there is such a thing on good writing, independent of having something to say.


If your writing is murky, it is usually because your thinking is murky, too. The solution for that is not a series of writing exercises, it is to master your subject matter.


In my decades of writing for magazines and newspaper, I have written some pretty strong columns and some pretty weak ones. In nearly every case, the weak ones were weak because I hadn't nailed down the logical structure of my argument. A good column comes, almost always from translating a logical argument into mathematics, filling a pad of paper with calculations to ensure that the argument is solid, burning the mathematics and translating my understanding into prose, is the easy part. Prose flows easily when you understand what you are saying. If you are struggling to "craft" your prose, your are probably confused."

Do ponder on what Landsburg has said. In fact, I have that exact same question way back in the mid-1990s, but to share with you now, will be to rob you of the opportunity to think. And yes, no prize for guessing correctly that Landsburg is a mathematician.

No comments: