On Writing Well by William Zinsser

I picked up “On Writing Well” by William Zinsser, a little over two years ago. The book came up as something worth reading by a professor. It’s been one of those books I always meant to get to, but could never find the time.

And while I’m currently between classes, I still didn’t have the time, until a project hit my lap. But I’ll talk about that another time. In the project documentation, there were several quotes from Mr. Zinsser’s book. I looked at my stack and said, hey I have the 30th Anniversary Edition. I’ll read that before working on the project proper.

Actually I’m lying. Is till haven’t read the book cover to cover. Yet that’s O.K. The order I went in was: the preface, and then to Part III, to read the chapter that mattered for this project. Then I realized I was hurting myself, and backtracked. I read for Part I and Part II in their entirety. Then I jumped to the last chapter — Spoiler: Neither the Butler, nor the Maid did it.

I always thought I’d read it slowly and fold the tricks in to my writing as I went. Not the case. I’m happy with the way it went. Now I can place a name to the things I hate about things I read. I wish more people in IT and Infosec would read this book.


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