John Adams on Writing Well


"The Faculty of Writing is attainable, by Art, Practice, and Habit only.  The sooner, therefore the Practice begins, the more likely it will be to succeed.  Have no Mercy upon an affected Phrase, any more than an affected, Air, Gate, Dress, or Manners."


excerpt from letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams, July 7, 1776

My Dearest Friend:  Letters of Abigail and John Adams (Margaret A. Hogan & C. James Taylor eds., 2007)