The More Words, the Less Truth

To use many words to communicate few thoughts is everywhere the unmistakable sign of mediocrity. To gather much thought into few words stamps the man of genius.  Arthur Schopenhauer (Bio and work)

Proverbs 10:19 The more talk, the less truth; the wise measure their words.

I don’t care how much a man talks, if he only says it in a few words. Josh Billings (19th Cent. American humorist contemporary of Mark Twain)

The hardest thing for a writer to be, is honest. Honest words painfully expose the writer for the idiot and humbug that he knows himself to be, deep down… Taking that risk is how he allows himself to be good.

‘The aim is to burn through to first thoughts, to the place where energy is unobstructed by social politeness or internal censor, to the place where you are writing what your mind actually sees and feels, not what it thinks it should see or feel. You must be a great warrior when you contact on first thoughts and write from them. Especially at the beginning you may feel great emotions and energy that will sweep you away, but you don’t stop writing. Your internal editor might be saying: “You are a jerk, whoever said you could write, I hate your work, you suck, I’m embarrassed, you have nothing valuable to say, and besides you can’t spell…” Sound familiar? The more clearly you know the editor, the better you can ignore it.  Don’t be abstract. Write the real stuff. Be honest and detailed.’

From Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg, quoted by Dina Davis

Natalie Goldberg’s book Writing Down the Bones shows a path to skillful, creative writing which is most often the shortest path to a writer’s truth.

Good books are built on good paragraphs, and good paragraphs on good sentences. Good sentences rest on good words — no more or less than needed, and in the particular order that punches hardest. “Good” means real, with a sense of the original.

Public speakers could follow the same set of rules. Sermons, weddings, funerals, and lectures… Say what needs to be said in the best way you can, but no more.

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