On Writing Well

By John Gardner

As I continue my Virtual Assistant content finding project for BookCoverLabs.com, I picked up a book within reach from my computer desk that has both helped and is special. 

I was updating my resume, philosophy of education and other job seeking materials with expert advice from son David (English PhD). He was kindly brutal as he tore apart and reconstructed my materials. I asked if he would recommend one book (he could have recommended dozens) as an easy read for my writing improvement. A few days later it arrived in the mail, On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction, by William Zinsser. ISBN 978-0-06-089154-1

Zinsser states in his introduction that On Writing Well is a craft book. I go to it periodically and learn something new every time, including while writing this article.

My favorite chapters are “Simplicity” and “Clutter”.

There are Internet quote listings, but here are a few highlighted lines from my favorite chapters:

Fighting clutter is like fighting weeds…

Clutter is the language of the Pentagon calling an invasion a “reinforced protective reaction strike”…

Few people realize how badly they write.

Every writing project must be reduced before you begin to write.

Anyone who thinks clearly can write clearly.

The risk in writing this article is that I break a Zinsser point.

Now that I have written, I realize that he did not use one of BookCoverLab’s beautiful covers.



17 yrs experience as a high school band director. 14 yrs as college adjunct faculty. 30+ yrs in the fundraising industry and 24 yrs as a small business owner. (Don't add all those up.). Experience in both the fundraising sales and education worlds give me a unique combination of perspectives in both. I love working with the youthful enthusiasm of today's teenage achievers and with those who work with them. Also 4yrs as proprietor of VirtualMusicOffice.com, which offers a wide variety of virtual services including web/blog design/hosting/managing, social media management (scheduling posts/tweets for maximum impact and brand enhancement) and small business consulting - specializing in school product fundraising.

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