Think Long. Write Short.

FastCo Design recently published a fantastic interview with George Lois, the original MadMan. In “10 Tips for Success,” he gives some thoughtful advice on advertising that translates well into general life advice. Here’s my favorite:

2.  “I’m sorry I could not have written a shorter letter, but I didn’t have the time” –Abraham Lincoln

Not too long after U.S. President Abraham Lincoln delivered the iconic wartime Gettysburg Address of 1863 in under three minutes and in just 10 sentences (272 words he had written and rewritten and agonized over), he wrote a long letter, in miniscule handwriting to a friend. The apology above, that he didn’t have the time to contemplate, correct, and edit his letter, is the most lucid lesson in good writing I’ve ever read. Keep it short, informative, concise, and literary, where every single word counts. But remember: It’s not how short you make it; it’s how you make it short.

Think long. Write short. 


About penultimatist

Columbia Heights living, yoga practicing, avid reading, arts loving, nonprofit working, soccer playing semi-yupster
This entry was posted in Art, Live and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s