It’s easy to write stuff that’s hard to understand

Today I listened to an excellent talk by U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins. He said something that really struck me:

It’s very easy to write poems that are hard to understand.

It occurred to me that this is true not only of writing poetry, but of all writing. It’s easy to scribble down a bunch of jibberish that no one can understand. It’s not so easy to write clearly and simply.

I have always admired writers and speakers who are able to take a complex topic and express it in a clear and understandable manner.

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