Review of Peter Yang’s Book The Art of Writing



I have been writing mostly nonfiction for many years and have read many books on various aspects of writing. Some focus on grammar and sentence structure. Others address a variety of other aspects of writing. This book suggests ways to write artistically as painters paint and composers compose their works. I don’t recall another book on writing artistically and how to do it.

Yang suggests four principles of artistic writing. Economy means using the fewest words possible to express the most meaning. Transparency means being clear and precise. Variety means writing with style and sophistication. Harmony means consistency throughout each work.

In order to stay focused, he notes that artistic writers are meticulous in their work, are aware of their audience’s values, sincere in what they say to their readers, are not overly concerned about writing perfectly and are flexible in their adherence to the four principles mentioned above.

Many of these principles and qualities are not self evident. Yang gives copious examples of writing in which these principles and qualities are ignored. After each one he shows how the example could be rewritten to more closely follow the principle or quality at hand. I found this the most valuable part of his discourse.

Another way of stating Yang’s thesis is that you can write artistically by avoiding clutter in your passages or de-clutter them if you miss something. Like other arts, no one ever reaches perfection. Instead improving your art is a lifelong process. Enjoy your journey.



Sometimes, writing less leads to deeper, more creative thinking.

Have you ever wondered how some writers manage to write thousands of words every day — while you can barely squeeze out 500 words after an hour of trying (and failing) to focus? How do so many successful writers publish so much — even though one success could carry their careers for years?

These are the habits of writers who cannot stop, who refuse to stop, who somehow  do this writing thing and don’t suffer creative burnout in the process.

(Excerpt from Meg Dowell’s article in A Writer’s Path- read more)


Writing a lot and writing well at the same time? It’s not easy, but it’s possible.

I know of writers and overall content creators who publish a new piece of content every day — and their work is usually good. But not always great.

I also know of creators who publish new content less frequently — and it’s always phenomenal.

And then there are those people who can crank out new stuff every day and CRUSH IT (meaning dominate, succeed, do a really good job) every time.

How do those superhumans do it?

(Excerpt from Meg Dowell’s article in A Writer’s Path- read more)


I don’t know about you, but if given two months to write something, whether it’s 2 pages or 20 pages, I wouldn’t be starting immediately. Nope, you’d find me procrastinating on the writing up until the last day or two, then scrambling to get it done. After a bit of panic, I’d finally go into total focus mode and bang it out just under the wire.

(Excerpt from Kassandra Cassillo’s post in A Writer’s Path- read more) 


It’s been over a year since I published my book, Before the Legend. This past year I’ve learned so much about self-publishing and marketing. Although I’m thankful for the little successes and milestones I was able to reach, there were several things I wish I could have done differently before and after self-publishing my book. The first three in the list are things I already knew before publishing but underestimated while doing this process. Here are my top 7 things you want to do before you self-publish.

(Excerpt from J.U.Scribe’s article in A  Writer’s Path – read more)

Teen aspires to create a community of writers, skateboarders



A writer and skateboarder, Homer youth Justice Sky spends his school year studying creative writing and his summers running his skateboard shop.

Majoring in creative writing at Southern Oregon University, he likes to write fiction and poetry.

“For me, writing is about the human experience and is the best way I’ve found to try to figure out how our world works on a very human level,” he said.

(Excerpt from Christina Whiting’s article in the Homer Tribune- read more)

Are you ready for a taste of success?

Review of Easy Habit Mastery by R.C. Peterson

by Joseph G. Langen

Easy Habit Mastery

It is a bit early to consider New Years’ resolutions. But this book brought them to mind for me. I have never seen a report of the percentage of resolutions kept for any amount of time. My guess is that it would not amount to much. Why? Most people start large, don’t consider what is involved and don’t take into account their resistance to change, despite their best intentions.

Peterson does take all this into account in proposing a different approach to developing and following through with new habits. First you must acknowledge your resistance to change the status quo. Key to his approach is starting with small incremental changes which your brain will more readily accept.

He suggests habits to adopt in six areas. First is diet and exercise such as morning stretching and eliminating unhealthy foods one at a time. He suggests mental habits such as listing your worries and gratitudes on a daily basis. He proposes financial habits such as budgeting and prioritizing purchases. He invites his readers to develop better relationship habits such as being honest in important matters. In business matters, he suggests delivering what you promise. Finally, he suggests personal development habits such as reading and documentaries as well as periodic review of your goals.

We have been trained to expect whatever we want immediately. No wonder so many people are frustrated. Peterson encourages his readers to start small and pace themselves so that they can be successful with small challenges leading to more profound changes. Are you ready for as taste of success?