Pete Armetta has a WordPress blog I very much enjoy. He’s a powerful writer of poetry, flash fiction, essays and short stories; and I’m always struck by how few words he needs, to say so much. Which, incidentally, is much easier said that done. His ‘style’ brings to mind a favourite Mark Twain quote:
“I am sorry to have written such a long letter, but I did not have time to write a short one”.
Says it all. Because the true measure of a writer is the ability to self-edit. To be ruthless. To choose words carefully. To make every one work hard. And having talent is the least of it. It takes discipline. Love of the craft. The ability to let go. To love ’em, but leave ’em, on the cutting room floor. To know when you’re done.
So really, a writer’s best friend isn’t a computer. Or a dictionary. Or a thesaurus. It’s the eraser.
Luckily, I learned that very early in my career. It was hard. And painful. But the best thing that could ever have happened to a young writer, just starting out. Which is why I wrote a blog post about it.
When I commented on Pete’s poem, and how much I admire his ability to keep only what’s absolutely essential, he responded, Continue reading