Category Archives: writing

On Writing Well

John Starke has interviewed Justin Taylor, Collin Hansen, Kevin DeYoung on the importance and practice of writing well. Clarity Seeking God’s Glory: A Discussion on Writing Well is worth listening to (just over 53 minutes), and there are some helpful resources listed from the discussion. I found it encouraging (I’d read some of those books/authors), and also challenging, since there is always something to learn.

I’m sticking with the perfect technology, too

Yesterday Tim Challies wrote an insightful piece that argues persuasively that books are the perfect technology. I couldn’t agree more. I haven’t succumbed to the temptation of the Kindle, though I’ve considered it, but I’m less and less persuaded by the benefits of electronic media for reading. Almost all of my serious reading is done from dead trees, and I think Challies is right when he says, “Despite being printed on dead trees, there is a living quality to books that is lost on e-readers.”

Apart from the way we interact with a real book versus an electronic one, I have some treasured volumes that could never be replaced by electronic copies. They belonged to real people from my past and my family’s past, many now in glory. They have memories that nothing electronic could ever match.

And I’m also sticking to pen(cil) and paper for my serious writing/thinking. I find that I produce much better writing that way than on the computer, though I usually transfer it later to the computer.

No batteries, no booting, just straight down to business: reading, writing, and thinking. Definitely the perfect technology.

Clean and wholesome

According to a BBC news report on Christmas Eve,

Vietnam has tightened restrictions on internet blogs, banning bloggers from raising subjects the government deems inappropriate.

Blogs should follow Vietnamese law, and be written in “clean and wholesome” language, according to a government document seen by local media.

Apart from the obvious curtailment of legitimate freedoms, what struck me more forcibly was the stipulation that clean and wholesome language was expected. Ironic that this was reported by an organization whose track record on clean and wholesome was somewhat tarnished, especially with the recent Ross and Brand affair.

If the Vietnamese government want some additional support for their mandate, they should look no further than the Apostle Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians:

Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. (Eph 5:4)

Would that all blogs, everywhere, took these words to heart.

Exact writing

I just obtained a copy of Mark Tredinnick’s book Writing Well (published down under as The Little Red Writing Book). I was struck with a quotation in his preface:

Writing is the most exact form of thinking.
(Carol Gelderman, All the Presidents’ Words)

I’ve found it increasingly helpful to clarify my own thinking by writing in response to what I read. Somehow Gelderman seems to have encapsulated the process exactly.