On Writing English


Should a man (or a woman) desire to practice the profession of a lawyer, he spends several years in a lawyer’s office, reads many books on legal subjects, and passes several examinations set by legal professionals. A like procedure obtains, should he desire to become a doctor, a civil engineer, an architect or a professor. Should he desire to be an artist, he must visit Paris and study under the best masters and from the best work of those who have become the acknowledged masters in painting and sculpture. But should he desire to become an author—he simply sits down and scribbles off a manuscript; then he arises with a look of satisfaction upon his countenance and mails the pen-production to the editor of some magazine, the name of which he knows by hearsay.

——John A. Cooper in The Canadian Magazine.