Writing is like bonsai growing

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. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell.

-William Strunk, Jr. and E. B. White, The Elements of Style

Good writing is like growing a bonsai. Persistence. Dedication. Trimming down to perfection. The resemblance is not in the size, however,1 but in the process:

The purposes of bonsai are primarily contemplation (for the viewer) and the pleasant exercise of effort and ingenuity (for the grower). …bonsai practice focuses on long-term cultivation and shaping of one or more small trees in a single container. (“Bonsai,” Wikipedia)

With a blog, the long-term cultivation comes not from maintaining a single “bonsai,” but from continuously adding to the container. It is this dedication that ultimately sustains a blog.


  1. In the words of James Shelley, “The superiority or inferiority of any text is not dictated by the number or quantity of words used.” [Via Iain Broome

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