All posts tagged: simplify

SIMPLICITY: On Traveling Light by Philip Harnden — The Value of Sparrows

It’s been a while since my last post. Finishing the first draft of my memoir was life-changing and I decided to give myself more time and space to allow the changes to happen. I had no idea that writing one’s memoir could be so transformative. Next year, I promise to write more about the process. In the meantime, I’d like to share this post from  The Value of Sparrows, a blog that I follow. Along with my wishes for a Merry Christmas for all of you, my prayer is that each one of us will be able to travel light next year!   From Journeys of Simplicity Twelve hundred years ago in China a middle-aged man named P’ang Yün loaded everything he owned onto a boat and sank it all in the Tung’t’ing Lake. After that, we are told, “He lived like a single leaf.” See him there in the early morning, treading water in the middle of […] via SIMPLICITY: On Traveling Light by Philip Harnden — The Value of Sparrows

How to Avoid Clutter

When I was still studying, I diligently memorized new words and their meanings because I wanted to use highfalutin words in my writing.  I thought they would make my work distinctive and memorable.  Reading William Zinsser’s book, “On Writing Well, An Informal Guide to Writing Nonfiction” set me on the right and uncluttered path. “Fighting clutter is like fighting weeds – the writer is always slightly behind,”  Zinsser says.  In the chapter on clutter, Zinsser describes how writers (me included) “drape prepositions routinely on verbs that don’t need them.”  We say “free up” when we can simply say “free.”   We write “at this moment in time” when we can say “now.” He mentions a few among hundreds of words that we use to clutter our writing: numerous (many), facilitate (ease), individual (man or woman), sufficient (enough), implement (do), attempt (try). Here are some very helpful tips from the author on how to deal with clutter: Be grateful for all the words you can throw away. Prune ruthlessly Examine and re-examine every  word you use. …