Friday, March 20, 2015

Use what is useful to you. Don't worry about others.

Throughout my college years and beyond, professors, teaching assistants, writers, and bloggers have recommended The Elements of Style by Strunk & White for better writing.

But I have never finished this classic. The book never grabbed my attention. Most importantly, I was never inspired to apply the writing principles.

Then I found Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark. I was instantly inspired. I manage to apply Clark's writing strategies often because I like Clark's writing and I remember his advice. I am inspired even by the texture of the book's cover.

My point is not that Writing Tools is better than The Elements of Style. My point is that Writing Tools is far more useful and superior for me and surely others. We have to search for what works for us. And when we find something that we like, that we find useful, and that inspires us, we must find the courage to hold onto it and use it for our benefit.

Find what works for you. Don't worry about what others are doing. Remember, though, that we need to put in the effort to find the tools that will guide us in writing and life. We should keep an open mind and try new things.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A career: something admirable or something else?

"Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career." - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
But also consider:
"A decent man is not responsible for the vice or absurdity of his profession; and he ought not on that account refuse to pursue it; [. . .]there is money to be got by it, a man must live in the world and make the best of it, such as it is." - Michel de Montaigne

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The desire to feel important

"Half of the harm that is done is this world is due to people who want to feel important . . . . They do not mean to do harm . . . . They are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves." - T.S. Eliot
"Lack of something to feel important about is almost the greatest tragedy a man may have." - Arther E. Morgan 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Despite our faults . . .

"The supreme happiness of life is the conviction of being loved for yourself, or more correctly, being loved in spite of yourself." - Victor Hugo

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Best advice?

"Follow your own advice."

It is so obvious, staring right at us, that we ignore it. Many times we know what needs to be done. And we help others. But we fail to benefit from our own wisdom.

Look inside. I think we'll find that we know more than we think. Apply our knowledge.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


"The worst sorrows in life are not in its losses and misfortunes, but its fears." - Arthur Benson
"No power is strong enough to be lasting if it labors under the weight of fear." - Cicero
"If a man harbors any sort of fear, it percolates through all his thinking, damages his personality, makes him landlord to a ghost." - Lloyd Douglas
"Never take counsel of your fears." - Andrew Jackson 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


"Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live." - Henry Van Dyke
"Live and let live is not enough; live and help live is not too much." - Orion Madison
"You ought to know how to rise above the trivialities of life, in which most people are found drowning themselves." - D. T Suzuki 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

On happiness

"If one only wished to be happy, this could be easily accomplished; but we wish to be happier than other people, and this is always difficult, for we believe others to be happier than they are." - Montesquieu 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

When to relax

"The time to relax is when you don't have time for it." - Sydney Harris