Taka's Reviews > On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

On Writing Well by William Zinsser
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's review
Apr 09, 10

bookshelves: japan_jul07-aug11, writing_reference
Read from March 31 to April 09, 2010

Read the first two parts--

Witty, concise, and informative, the first two parts on "Principles" and "Methods" are brilliant. These parts, however, constitute 30% of the book. The rest of the book - that is, 70% - is uneven and can be skipped without missing out on anything important.

The only chapters I found worth reading are those on "Science and Technology," "Business Writing," and "Writing About Arts," all of which are in Part III. Other than these, none of the chapters say anything that hasn't been said already and can be skimmed or skipped, according to your interest in the particular subject of each chapter.

One nugget of advice I found extremely helpful and would like to share is this: "Forget the competition and go at your own pace. your only contest is with yourself."

I couldn't have said better. Writers are egomaniacs who care too much about what other people think of their writing.

My advice: read the first two parts and only read what interests you after that.
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