Tuesday 9 November 2010

Take one thing off ...

It would be a writing course. Every assignment would be delivered in five versions: A three page version, a one page version, a three paragraph version, a one paragraph version, and a one sentence version.

I don’t care about the topic. I care about the editing. I care about the constant refinement and compression. I care about taking three pages and turning it one page. Then from one page into three paragraphs. Then from three paragraphs into one paragraph. And finally, from one paragraph into one perfectly distilled sentence.

Along the way you’d trade detail for brevity. Hopefully adding clarity at each point. This is important because I believe editing is an essential skill that is often overlooked and under appreciated. The future belongs to the best editors.

That's Jason Fried, one of the 37signals co-founders, talking about the class he'd like to see taught at university. 37signals is a web app company; I have a Masters degree in art history, and I wish this course had been available when I was at school.

No comments: