Writing, to be effective, must follow closely the thoughts of the writer, but not necessarily in the order in which those thoughts occur. This calls for a scheme of procedure. In some cases, the best design is no design, as with a love letter, which is simply an outpouring, or with a casual essay, which is a ramble. But in most cases, planning must be a deliberate prelude to writing.
Did you know that an illustrated edition of The Elements of Style exists? I did not, until last week, when I was looking for a Kindle edition of it because my old paperback copy has fallen to pieces.
And now I own this illustrated copy instead of a Kindle copy. Form over function every. single. time. :)
It is lovely. Maira Kalman did the illustrations.
If you have missed The Elements of Style in your life, I guess I should tell you that the "White" author listed above is none other than E.B. White, whom you may know from Charlotte's Web and Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan.
White said that writing was "difficult and bad for one's disposition," but he kept going, and this is a great encouragement to me.
He also said "real life is only one kind of life -- there is also the life of the imagination."
Which of course is perfectly true.
Bob and Claire were both shocked to discover E.B. White was a man. I was shocked to discover that they were shocked to discover this.