LawProse Lesson #340: Discipline in writing.

LawProse Lesson #340: Discipline in writing.

Writers are made, not born. Actually, they’re self-made. It’s always a conscious decision, and it takes conscious ongoing effort.

Making yourself a good writer involves as much discipline as any other vocation or profession. And because discipline isn’t a trait that comes easily to most people, you’ll have a great advantage if you can develop it as a writer.

There are three types of discipline you must have: (1) production discipline—actually sitting down to get something onto the page; (2) revision discipline—reworking your material and understanding that editing is integral to the process; and (3) rejection discipline—remaining tenacious in the face of criticism, no matter how harsh it may be. Be ready to “murder your darlings,” as Arthur Quiller-Couch said more than a century ago.

Easy writing is hard reading. It’s always a struggle to think clearly. And nothing so effectively clarifies your thinking as putting it into words.

Only by long practice can you express yourself clearly, attractively, and sincerely. Those are the eternal qualities of good speech and writing: lucidity, euphony, and sincerity.

If you want practice, and lots of time-tested pointers, join us this fall for Advanced Legal Writing & Editing. There’s a reason why this LawProse seminar is the most popular CLE of all time.

Live seminars this year with Professor Bryan A. Garner: Advanced Legal Writing & Editing

Attend the most popular CLE seminar of all time. More than 215,000 people—including lawyers, judges, law clerks, and paralegals—have benefited since the early 1990s. You'll learn the keys to professional writing and acquire no-nonsense techniques to make your letters, memos, and briefs more powerful.

You'll also learn what doesn't work and why—know-how gathered through Professor Garner's unique experience in training lawyers at the country's top law firms, state and federal courts, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies.

Professor Garner gives you the keys to make the most of your writing aptitude—in letters, memos, briefs, and more. The seminar covers five essential skills for persuasive writing:

  • framing issues that arrest the readers' attention;
  • cutting wordiness that wastes readers' time;
  • using transitions deftly to make your argument flow;
  • quoting authority more effectively; and
  • tackling your writing projects more efficiently.

He teaches dozens of techniques that make a big difference. Most important, he shows you what doesn't work—and why—and how to cultivate skillfulness.

Register to reserve your spot today.

Have you wanted to bring Professor Garner to teach your group? Contact us at for more information about in-house seminars.

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