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On not writing badly vs. writing well

© iStockphoto.com/Justin Allfree

© iStockphoto.com/Justin Allfree

They're not the same thing, author Ben Yagoda says in this Time Newsfeed Q&A. Yagoda discusses some writing sins — using the wrong word, writing in all caps — but says that's only part of the secret: "The not-writing-badly thing is a skill that can be learned, by reading, by following principles, by using the dictionary, by slowing down and all those things. Writing well is a little more mysterious. It’s art. There’s inspiration. There’s individual talent and style."