William Strunk, Jr. said, “Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts.”

And I agree, so I’ll try to make this as concise as possible. Hopefully.

I learned to not only write with conciseness, but to edit without mercy when I was writing on a Brother word processor that printed, not with ink, but ribbon like a typewriter. Unfortunately, unlike a typewriter ribbon, my word processor ribbon was good for one use only. As it printed the letters on the page, it wound out from one end of the ribbon to the other, and once I reached the end, I’d reached the end. And back then a new ribbon was like $10 at a time when minimum wage was under $3 an hour, and I was making minimum wage. I think I was able to get maybe 20 pages out of each ribbon.

So I had to learn to write concisely, and edit mercilessly, so that when I was ready to print, I was only printing the most important words of the story.

Write as if each word is costing you money, and you’ll soon figure out which words you need and which ones you can lose and still get the point of the story across.