“Writing is selection. Just to start a piece of writing you have to choose one word and only one from more than a million in the language. Now keep going. What is your next word? Your next sentence, paragraph, section, chapter? . . . You select what goes in and you decide what stays out. At base you have only one criterion: If something interests you, it goes in—if not, it stays out. That’s a crude way to assess things, but it’s all you’ve got. . . . Write on subjects in which you have enough interest on your own to see you through all the stops, starts, hesitations and other impediments along the way.”

John McPhee, “Omission,” The New Yorker, Sept. 14, 2015, pp.42-49, at 44.

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