Write perfectly plain


I saw this scrap of newspaper on a wall in the Walker sisters cabin in the Smoky Mountains National Park. There was a long hike through some beautiful terrain in order to reach the cabin.

At the end of the hike, the cabin seemed underwhelming at first. But a closer look revealed that many bits of old newspapers had been plastered on the cabin’s interior walls. These newspapers were essentially a view into another time.

I scrutinized these bits of paper, but wasn’t able to read an entire letter or a full news story. But I did see a small bit of advice, if that’s what it was meant to be, and had a desire to comment on it here. It’s why I write this blog, after all.

Writing should never, ever be “perfectly plain.” Perhaps the advice referred to the writing’s appearance, which might be understandable. But if the writing’s content was at issue, I must respectfully disagree with whoever wrote it.

Plain writing is something that everyone can do, but it’s rarely worth the trouble of reading it. Writing is an extension of the person who does it, and when the writing’s not interesting, there’s not much else to say. And a long hike to a cabin in the Smoky Mountains was worth it on more levels than I had originally thought.


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