In her hand, from 1954, here are my great aunt’s rules for writing. Seems like a summary of the best advice from writer’s conferences.

1)  Be easy. Think of the people who really want to know what you have to say.

2)  Begin. Don’t start with definitions or philosophy. Start right off.

3)  Be simple. Short words. Short sentences. Short paragraphs.

4)  Be interesting. Tell him (her) what they want to know.

5)  Be anecdotal. Everyone likes a story.

6)  Be personal. People like people. Ability to think in abstraction is rare.

7)  Be brief. Ten Commandments = 298 words. Gettysburg Address = 266 words. Declaration of Independence = 300 words.

8)  Be accurate.

9)  Be prompt.

10)  Be merciful.

— Mary Utopia Rothrock