How to Say Nothing in 500 Words

Advice to budding essay writers: How to Say Nothing in 500 Words

The writer builds with words, and no builder uses a raw material more slippery and elusive and treacherous. A writer’s work is a constant struggle to get the right word in the right place, to find that particular word that will convey his meaning exactly, that will persuade the reader or soothe him or startle or amuse him. He never succeeds altogether — sometimes he feels that he scarcely succeeds at all — but such successes as he has are what make the thing worth doing.

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