Writing short in a long-winded world

Writing short is harder than writing long. The famous quote from Mark Twain regarding tight writing is:

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

As you begin building your portfolio of good, short writing, share with us your favorite and tell us where you found it.

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18 thoughts on “Writing short in a long-winded world

  1. As I was making the decision to serve in the U.S. Navy, their recruitment slogan was, “Accelerate your life.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MorDCtBPR8) At the age of 20 I was definitely looking for something that would make my life better then what it was so this sounded very appealing to me. Their recruitment slogan changes every so often, though. Some other slogans have been:
    -Be someone special. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZ9XvuDFdws&list=PLq2p-tSVj-RYUK3ardM8B0JdK8_rTwVax
    -Live the adventure. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kq58St_amfI&list=PLq2p-tSVj-RYUK3ardM8B0JdK8_rTwVax
    -Let the journey begin. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flzXSLT1qYM
    -You are tomorrow; you are the Navy.
    The Navy’s current recruitment slogan is, “America’s Navy, a global force for good.” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvlkdyTstlI

    These slogans set the tone for how the Navy Recruiting Command ensures the military is manned according to the President’s requirements. They are motivational and instill a sense of purpose.

  2. My favorite short writing was by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. it is called I’ve Been to the Mountain Top. It talks about him not fearing anyone because he had a mission and he said that even though he might not reach the top with us we will still reach it and that is what makes him happy. This is a very inspirational and powerful writing and I just love it. I found it here
    http://www.weboflove.org/070114martinlutherkingjrquotesaudio

  3. My favorite short writing comes from hall of fame Michael Jordan and it says “obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall,don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it”.

  4. My favorite short writing comes from Thomas Jefferson, “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”

    This quote is timeless. It was relevant 200 years ago and it is still relevant today. Whether it is a chemical attack in Syria or genocide in Somalia, it is not just an American duty, but the duty of every human to stand up for people who are not able to stand up for themselves.

  5. My favorite short writing comes from Robert Frost. Years ago, my class assignment was to find a quote that I found meaningful. “Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.”

    At first it was just a quote but as I grew into the women I am, I realized I must stand for something. I must be myself and remain true no matter what. Today, I remain loyal to that poem and the commitment I made to myself.

    http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/7785-never-be-bullied-into-silence-never-allow-yourself-to-be

  6. I didn’t have a favorite short poem but in looking up short poems I found Maya Angelou’s “I know why the caged bird signs”. I really liked it because you would thInk that the caged bird is the quiet one not the one that sings.

  7. My favorite short story is a poem written by E.E. Cummings titled, “I carry your heart with me”. When I read a short poem such as this one and still feel an emotional attachment to it, I am always impressed. It is easy to pick up a book that is several hundred pages long and get attached. Authors of long books and series have much more time to allow the audience to form relationships with the characters and story lines. With poems like the one E.E. Cummings wrote, you only have between 10-20 lines to fall in love with the writing. Of course, if you’re a cheesy romantic like me…it might be a little easier to love a short poem than normal.

    http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/179622

  8. I do not read many poems, but there was one I remember from a movie I saw. It says, “Never lie, steal, cheat, or drink. But if you must lie, lie in the arms of the one you love. If you must steal, steal away from bad company. If you must cheat, cheat death. And if you must drink, drink in the moments that take your breath away.”

  9. Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveler, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;
    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,
    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.
    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
    The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

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