A major aspect of my work as astrophysicists and leisure involves reading and writing. Reading and writing reports, scientific articles, press releases, emails, blogs. Like many, I was struggling with putting in words my thoughts, especially in English, which is not my native language. But as the American philosopher Ayn Rand said: “Writing is no more difficult a skill than any others, such as engineering. Like every human activity, it requires practice and knowledge. But there is nothing mystical about it. Any person who can speak English grammatically can learn to write nonfiction.”. Many of my initial blockages have been lifted after reading her excellent book The Art of Nonfiction. The book is probably the best aid I found to help me improve my writing skills. Ayn Rand did not only talk about the technical aspects of nonfiction writing, she also analyzed the psychological struggle faced by aspiring writers. Nonfictions are about conveying ideas and thus the main motto of her book “clarity, clarity, clarity” summarizes perfectly her approach to nonfiction writing.
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