Grace3: The Grace of Writing

Like Japanese iris,
she shines with raindrops in the sun.
A blossoming grace in silence.
A new butterfly in flight.

Eloisa Jun 2022
Photo by Larry Siegel

The Beauty of Graceful Writing

Like the poem and flower above, a good piece of writing should shine, make us feel its blossoming and help us take flight into our imaginations or make us look deep into our souls. That is the power of graceful, beautiful writing. But how can we as writers achieve this?

In 2012, Trevin Wax looked at Joseph M. Williams’s book, Style: Toward Clarity and Grace  (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990). He drew out four especially helpful pieces of advice found in Williams’ book. This is not really aimed at creative writing but the same suggestions apply.

  • 1. Diagnose the Reasons We Fail to Write Clearly and Gracefully. Williams begins his book on style by explaining the need for it: we write badly. He lists three reasons for bad writing. A) Too many people seek to impress others with a pretentious writing style. B) Too many writers are fearful of making errors they learned about in middle school. They reduce good writing to error-free grammar, and because all their attention is on keeping the rules, they are unable to communicate gracefully and clearly. C) Many academics are in over their heads. They are writing about things they do not entirely understand.
  • 2. Master the Principles for Clear and Cohesive Writing. A) Be Clear! In other words, avoid abstraction in favor/favour of directness. B) Make sure it is cohesive! Clarity and cohesion go together: clarity results from good sentence structure, while cohesion results from a logical sequence of sentences C) Cut,cut,cut! Better to be concise than wordy. Concision is to be commended, but being concise is not the writer’s only goal. There are times when lengthy sentences are preferable. “It is not length alone, or number of clauses alone, that we ought to worry about, but rather long sentences without shape,”
  • 3. Do Not Believe Everything You Learned in Grammar School. When in doubt regarding a rule in English, it is best to observe what good writers do, and then follow their example. “We must reject as folklore any rule that is regularly ignored by otherwise careful, educated, and intelligent writers of first-rate prose”.
  • 4. Draw Attention to Your Ideas, Not Your Writing. Remember the reader! Williams constantly reminds his readers to remember theirs. “You avoid monotony by saying what you have to say as clearly as you can,” he writes, “by so thoroughly engaging your readers in your ideas that they lose touch with the surface of your prose” .

Michell C. Clark goes along with this view in terms of being creative in his writing too. He is a Washington, D.C.-based social media influencer, social media coach, content creator, and cultural curator.

He says…

‘Every piece of content that I create and share with the world doesn’t have to be something that I spent years formulating, revising, and losing sleep over.

There is power in brevity.

There is power in blunt truth-telling.

There is power in using language to articulate thoughts concisely.

There is power in your message, no matter how long you take to express it.’

Writing is a Blessing

Photo by Marcus Aurelius

This thing we writers do, storytelling, is sacred. And the novels we write are examples of that. Whether we write fiction or nonfiction, when people read our words, they acquaint with what is at the heart of anything we type: a tale told well. The more stories someone reads, the better able they are to tell them. And if there is any extinction we must rail against, it is that of stories. They moor us to the past, steady us in the present and are harbingers of hope or fair warning for the future.

Writing is one of the skills that is a blessing for us human
beings. Through writing one can express its true feelings his
true emotions, how he feels to the world and to himself too.
Some emotions are well depicted by writing and things which
cannot be said can be expressed through writing.

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