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.