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Season 1

Ep 10: Several Short Questions About Writing

With Verlyn Klinkenborg

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Description

Academic writing is fine. But it's just about as enjoyable to read as it is to write -- not very. But after years and years of developing a common academic writing style, it can be hard to break free and become a truly great writer. If you're not following a conventional academic structure, where do you start? If you're not being assigned topics, what do you write about? What makes good writing? What will make you a good writer? 

In this episode, our host, Kyla Sims, chats with author and Yale professor, Verlyn Klinkenborg, about how to think about writing before you even pick up the pen. What matters when it comes to great writing? What are our sentences really saying and how do we know? And, what advice out there for aspiring writers is really worth listening to?

No matter what kind of writing you do, this episode offers insightful perspective that will help you discover your voice as a writer and enjoy the process.

Transcript

Kyla Sims: In his book on writing, Stephen King says that writing is telepathy, a magic connection between writer and reader that transcends space and time. The act of writing gives you the supernatural ability to implant ideas and visions from your own mind into the mind of your reader. That's some pretty powerful stuff. Now, people are pretty sentimental when they talk about writing, myself included, and for good reason. Writing is transformative. Anyone who fancies themselves a writer knows the feeling. When you sit down, start to write and everything just starts flowing. You're in the zone, you're so full of words and ideas, time just flies by. And it feels like the only thing stopping your imagination from blasting out of you like a fire hose is how slowly you happen to type. There's nothing quite like it. But every writer also knows that those moments are fleeting and fickle.

Most of the time, writing is hard. And when you do it professionally, these flow states are even harder to manufacture, especially when you have to write jargon- filled corporate updates, or the legal department just happens to be your editor- in- chief. If you're working in communications, your livelihood depends on you being a competent writer, whether it's writing press releases and speeches, scripts or stories. It's undeniable that often the better writer you are, the more success you'll find. But what is good writing? How do we know if our writing is effective, and how do we become better writers? Well, it just so happens that today's guest has some pretty good answers.

You're listening to Infernal Communication, brought to you by Staffbase, and I'm your host, Kyla Sims. When I first started out as a professional writer, there was one piece of feedback that I kept getting over and over.

Speaker 2: So Kyla, it's a bit long.

Speaker 3: Can we tighten it up a bit?

Speaker 2: Can we tighten it up a bit?

Speaker 3: We needed to be a bit shorter.

Speaker 2: Who has time to read all this?

Speaker 3: Who has time to read all of this?

Kyla Sims: What can I say? I'm a long- winded person and I love writing. The more words, the better. That was until one day my boss handed me a book that changed my writing forever, and made it way better. That book whipped me into shape. My sentences went from flowery and indulgent, going on and on, unfocused, to sharp, deliberate, and clear. And that transformative book, it was called Several Short Sentences About Writing by Verlyn Klinkenborg. Now, over the last few years, I've had the opportunity to hire and mentor a few writers and teach some writing workshops, and every single time, I give the same advice. If you want to be a better writer, you've got to read Several Short Sentences About Writing. 

So today, I have a very special episode for you. This one is going to be a bit different, and for good reason. I am over the moon to bring you a very special guest, the one and only Verlyn Klinkenborg. Verlyn is a novelist, a journalist, and a professor at Yale, where he teaches the genre of the sentence. Now, if I start to sound a bit flustered in this interview, that's because I am. Like I said, nothing has had a bigger influence on my writing than Verlyn's book. So I was very excited and a little nervous to talk to him. I have too many questions for you probably so we'll just that's jump in.

Verlyn Klinkenborg: That's great, yeah.

Kyla Sims: And try and get somewhere.

Verlyn Klinkenborg: Sure.

Kyla Sims: Verlyn, what is at the heart of good writing?

Verlyn Klinkenborg: Attention, more than anything else, awareness. People inhabit a cloud of language, a cloud of perceptions, and they write within this cloud. And out of it comes a fuzziness, this mess of words, mess of thoughts. And one of the things, what I really primarily do is teach students how to pay attention to what's happening on the page in a sentence, but also paying attention to the way their own minds work. And it's something that nobody really teaches, but teaching writing is a great way to teach that because you can't really actually write well if you're not paying attention to the texture and the consistency and the nature of your own thoughts, and then trying to find a way to put them in language that is clarified by your attention, by your awareness.

Kyla Sims: And how do you teach training that kind of attention?

Verlyn Klinkenborg: Well, it's a funny process actually. My class is very simple. Every student writes two pages every week, double- spaced, about anything they want, it has to be non- fiction. And that anything they want part is the really hard part because they're used to getting prompts from professors. All of their work has been what I call insincere up to this point. People have given them topics to write about. So what I'm really challenging you to do is figure out what are you interested in? What do you care enough about? Because to me, unless you're working within the realm of your own curiosity, your own interest, you're really not working at all in a certain sense. And then what we do is we look at these pieces, I read them, I mark them all very carefully, and I line it at every one of them, so they come back with blue marks all over them, showing them where there are ambiguities, there are places where sentences have collapsed, there are places where sentences are actually dying in the corner, and places where they're doing really good work.

And for most students, it's really, really the first time they've ever really been read closely. By that I mean, what people are really paying attention to most of the time is their argument, the way they use sources, the overall movement of the piece. All I'm interested in is the structure and the movement of the sentence. So it's a very different standard, and it's exhausting at first because the students are worn out by trying to figure out what to write about, and also worn out by the fact that they thought they knew how to write, and they do in an academic sort of way. But the real test for me is that, in the early weeks, we take one terrible sentence from each student's piece and make a list to them. It's called Some Sentences, and we stop in the middle of class and we go through them, and we just say, "So what on earth happened to this sentence? What do we do here? How do we fix it? Do we kill it? Do we reinvent it? What do we do?" And it's a great way of showing them how microscopically I'm looking at the prose, but it's also a way of teaching them how to revise, which nobody has really ever taught them.

Kyla Sims: Mm- hmm.

Verlyn Klinkenborg: All I'm doing is trying to get their attention right on the surface, right down to the ground, so they're looking at the words as if they were objects in front of them. And it's very successful. It works really, really well because what ends up happening over the course of 12, 13 weeks, not only does everybody's prose improve by a lot, but their sense of who they are changes, their idea of how they perceive the world changes, their idea especially of how they perceive themselves and their ability to communicate changes. It's a beautiful thing to watch, and a very moving thing to watch. As students who really, they know they're smart and they know the ways in which they're smart, but suddenly they're able to show other people the nature of their awareness of the world. We get to look at the world through their eyes, in a way. It's very clear and very powerful.

Kyla Sims:  That's beautiful. I know that our listeners are going to be like, "Damn, I wish I was in that class." Because a lot of us have not the best writing experiences in university, like you were saying. It's very mandated a particular way, and everything has to follow a particular formula, and you're never writing about things that you care about ever.

Verlyn Klinkenborg: Well, that's the first part. You have to write about what you care about. That makes a big difference.

Kyla Sims: And so when you're going through these students' papers with such a fine- tooth comb, what are the most common mistakes that you're finding?

Verlyn Klinkenborg: Well, in the early weeks, it's just confusion. It could be a pronoun that's missing antecedents, it could be syntax falling apart, the sentence just doesn't hold together. Often it's ambiguity, and the ambiguity comes from the fact that the student is trying very hard to focus on what they intend to say, but without looking at the words. So what I often see is a sentence in which the student swears to me that they're saying this, but the sentence is actually saying that. So there's a miscommunication between the sentence and the writer. I don't have anything to do with it, I'm trying to get them to reconnect. So there's problems of all kinds. Speaking of my students, and a lot of students in the university setting, they've been trained to write like their professors. They've been trained to write college application essays, to write the kind of essays that get them into college, get them good grades in college. And that language is very stilted and very abstract, and sentences are always, always, always too long and too complex without understanding how sentences become complex while staying clear.

So what I really try to get them to do is I say to them, "Let's start making short sentences, really short sentences, so short that you're embarrassed to write them." Because you learned by thinking, " Oh, I'm getting smarter because my sentences are getting longer." Well, that's not true actually. That worked up to a point, and then suddenly I could see less and less and less of what you're thinking because your sentences were getting really confused. So everybody goes back to this place where they're running really short sentences with space between each of the sentences. It feels just strange and unusual. But the good part of that is you can see everything that's happening in every sentence, and that's where we build from. So it's really taking them back to, I don't know, fourth grade, and really beginning bringing them back up to the present again, which is a lot of fun.

Kyla Sims: You've been teaching for a while now. Obviously in the last 10 years, even since you've published this book, language is evolving. Let's just put it that way. Have you seen the writing of your students change over time? Are they picking up new and different ways of writing because of our more online digital writing culture?

Verlyn Klinkenborg: No, not really. I think that, first of all, language is always, always evolving and it's never not evolving. But the fact is, people assume that because students now text instead of writing long emails, there's a big difference, but I don't really find that to be the case. It's just the same skills applied in different forms. I think it's really important to not go around constructing excuses for failing as a writer, and that idea that, " Oh, somehow the world we live in now is different, and therefore I can't write as well," is absolute nonsense. There are more tools to help you write well now than there ever were.

Kyla Sims: I do want to talk a little bit about sentences, but before we jump into that, I wanted to ask you, what was the worst advice out there?

Verlyn Klinkenborg: Oh, there is no good advice out there at all.

Kyla Sims: Oh, okay.

Verlyn Klinkenborg: Oh no, no, it's terrible. It is amazing to me how much terrible advice there is for writers. The hardest part for a young writer who wants to write is to trust themselves and not go to the writing section of the local bookstore, and buying all the books about writing, including mine. I mean, I think mine's the best of them because it's actually the most commonsensical.

Kyla Sims: Yeah.

Verlyn Klinkenborg: And one of the things we do at the beginning of every semester is try to debrief students. One of the things that you still hear in your head and the list of, there's a bushel basket of common phrases, "Oh, show, don't tell," all this nonsense, that we just throw them all out because they're totally useless, they're just totally useless. What we do instead is pay attention to ourselves, our thoughts, our actual language, and work on that. This is one of the great things about writing is that you can teach yourself. It is not required. You don't need to take a class, you can actually do this on your own for yourself. That's why that Several Short Sentences was written. It was basically a way of saying, if you think about things in a way that's clear and direct and not caught up in the cliches about writing, not caught up in anxiety about being a writer, but just paying attention to language, you can teach yourself how to do this work.

Kyla Sims: One of the things that really struck me about your book was it is very practical and pragmatic, and there's a real methodology that you suggest. But at the same time, it manages to be quite romantic about writing and about life and about philosophy, I find in a lot of writing advice, you just don't get. It's kind of like on the one side, it's either let it flow, let it come from your heart.

Verlyn Klinkenborg: Exactly.

Kyla Sims: And all of these flowery things. And then on the other side, it's like, no, you have to be very academic. And so I really appreciate that about your book, and it really comes through in a way that isn't intimidating for new writers. People tend to gravitate toward writing when they are a little bit romantic about it.

Verlyn Klinkenborg: Well, romantic's a complicated word, because the romantic model, which is the let it flow genius model is really complicated to use. We've come to think somehow that writing is about expressing yourself, it's about letting your emotions out, it's about telling your story. Well, if all you can write is your story, you may have only one book. If you write about what you're interested in, what you'd like to learn about, what you notice in the world around you, the number of things you can write about is endless. The main thing for me is, with these undergraduates at Yale, some of the smartest students on the planet, nobody has ever been interested in what they notice. They've been trained to pay attention to what other people notice and how to use that in ways that are very academically. But nobody said to them, "I want to see how the world looks to you." And just actually saying to a student, "I am really interested in who you are, what you say, the language you make and what you can tell me about your world," is very liberating. And there's a practical reason for doing it. I'm old, they're young. It's their world.

Kyla Sims: That's a very refreshing perspective.

Verlyn Klinkenborg: It would be foolish to feel anything else, for me at least.

Kyla Sims: When you talk about noticing things, what are we talking about and what role does that actually play in good writing?

Verlyn Klinkenborg: Well, it's funny because all you have to do is go for a walk. And if you set off on a walk and say, "I want to try to notice what I'm noticing. I want to try to pay attention to what I'm noticing," it doesn't mean you're going around focusing, trying to notice things. Suddenly, I'm looking in the shop window, "Oh, well, what was it that called my attention to that?" Or suddenly, I'm listening to a sound that's taking place around the corner, " What called my attention? Why am I listening to that?" Every time you find yourself attentive, the question becomes, "Why am I attentive right now? What made that happen?" Well, that's the thing that you're noticing, and it's really powerful. It's an amazing thing to pay attention to because what you're doing is you're not only trusting your senses to report to you back on the world, you're trusting the way your senses edit themselves. In other words, you're not taking the world in an unfiltered way, your mind is processing it in all sorts of ways.

So when you find yourself walking in a city street or through the country, in the woods, whatever it is, and you're paying attention to, " Oh, this, I'd never heard this before. I didn't notice this before, now I see this," you're actually paying attention to the architecture of your own mind. And when we do that, we get to learn something really important about the world because that noticing is teaching us about the world. But we also reflectively get to notice something very important about ourselves because our own inner character is what shapes that noticing too. So it's this very close relationship between the two things. And it's funny because I think a lot of people think, "Well, I notice things all the time." Well, okay, sure you do, but do you notice yourself noticing them? Which sounds like a ridiculous question. But that idea that you go out and imagine that your mind is a sketchpad. You go out and, "Oh, I'm going to draw this." It's like suddenly you're just paying attention to where you got distracted.

You're walking along and suddenly something stops you. And that's the thing you're noticing. And it's small, it's not a big deal. It's tiny, tiny little things. There's another dimension to this too, which is when we talk about emotions, we tend to use our very impoverished language about emotions. We don't have good names for what we feel. We're filled with these incredibly subtle, tiny feelings all the time, don't have names, we don't know what they are, but they're powerful, they're important. They map our internal lives in a certain sense. And what's funny is that when you work with young writers and you're trying to figure out why sentences don't work, they know, they can feel that there's something wrong with this sentence. They don't know what it is, they can't name it, but it makes them feel weird. Well, that emotion is really important.

If you trust that emotion, it's going to say pretty much accurately all the time, "Oh, this sentence really sucks. I can't tell you why, but I really feel it." So if you say to a student, "So why don't you actually notice those little emotions that are actually teaching you something about what's happening with your language?" Just pay attention to them. Don't worry about naming them, just don't exaggerate them. Just if there's something that feels off about a sentence, there is something off about a sentence. And it's funny because our educational process should be doing nothing more important than teaching students to trust who they are, what they know, what they've begun to understand about the world, but it doesn't work that way. It's really about what other people have understood and known, and I'm trying to reverse it so that they become attentive to their own emotions, attentive to their own attention, attentive to their own being, if I can say it that way. They don't have to write about that, that doesn't have to be the thing that they write about, but it's the thing from which they always write.

Kyla Sims: We'll be right back with Verlyn Klinkenborg on what makes great writing and how to do it.

You're listening to Infernal Communication, a podcast brought to you by Staffbase, where we dive in to the deeper conversations happening behind some of the biggest comms problems and puzzles that impact organizations and beyond. If you're enjoying the show so far, make sure you follow us on Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen. And also, pretty please leave us a review and let us know what you think. You can also check out the show on our website by going to infernalcommunication.com.

In today's episode, we're talking about writing. It's at the heart of all communication, but it can be intimidating and it's hard to do well. I'm chatting with Verlyn Klinkenborg, the Yale professor and author of Several Short Sentences About Writing. I want to talk a little bit about sentences. In university, I did a philosophy degree and I wrote in communications and marketing and all that sort of stuff. And never in my life did anyone be like, "What's going on with this sentence?"

Verlyn Klinkenborg: Isn't that bizarre?

Kyla Sims: It's so bizarre.

Verlyn Klinkenborg: Yeah.

Kyla Sims: Can you take us through your thinking on why writers benefit from spending more time with their sentences?

Verlyn Klinkenborg: If you pay any attention to yourself as a working writer, "What you doing?" "Oh, I'm making a sentence." Yes, I'm writing a book, or I'm writing a chapter, or I'm writing a paragraph. But no, actually, you are making a sentence. That is what you're doing. It's preliminary to everything, it's the foundation of everything, and it's amazing to me that it sounds like a discovery to people. What could be more obvious?

Kyla Sims: Sort of tragic.

Verlyn Klinkenborg: Yeah, yes. But what's weird about it is that it's true for almost every student I work with, they've written pieces that have sentences in it they do not remember writing. The act of writing for me as a young student is just, "Please get me through this to the end and turn it in." But when you're working as a writer, being in the sentence, absorbing what's happening in the sentence, paying attention to rhythm and clarity, all those sort of things, it's the foundation of everything. It always amuses me because students are always worried about structure and how does the piece work, and it's like there is no peace until your prose is much better. But by the end of the semester, those questions about structure go away because suddenly they can see what their sentences are saying. So the structure is not hard, it's just like, "Oh, well, we see we just arrange them this way." You're not having to walk through the fog and find these signposts as you go.

The other thing that's part of this really too, is, and it's an important part that I talk to my students about without actually saying, " Do it this way," because I urge everyone to test these experiments, I discovered a long time ago that outlining does no good for me at all. I don't want to know where my piece is going, I don't want to know what it's going to say. I don't know. I want to discover it in the act of writing. And that's been true for 35 years now. I've written all my books that way, every magazine article, also every editorial for The New York Times that way, and it really works. But that's because it works for me. It may not work for everybody else, but accepting that writing is thinking. The being aware of your own thoughts is not that different from being aware of your own sentences. That's fundamental.

Kyla Sims: I remember when I came across your thoughts on outlining in the book, I was like, "Vindication." I was like, "Yes, thank you." And then I was always trying to, yeah, make it fit into this outline where it just wasn't going there anymore, it went somewhere else. And then I was like, "No, I got to rein it back in," and it just felt bad.

Verlyn Klinkenborg: How can you think all the good thoughts in advance? You can't. You're actually about to be more absorbed in thinking than you were when you're making that outline. The outline's just a game. I say this to students all the time, I'm really teaching you how to be patient in the presence of your own thoughts. And that wouldn't be fun or interesting if your thoughts didn't inherently have value. So what I'm implying is that your thoughts inherently do have value. Not based on how you've been trained or how you've been educated, but based on who you are and the nature of the life you've lived.

Kyla Sims: I can't help but keep going back to it. It's so romantic, it's philosophical, but it is so practical.

Verlyn Klinkenborg: Well, I want to ask you what you mean by romantic?

Kyla Sims: It tickles a part of me, the part that really is enraptured by writing and good writing, and feeling like there is something divine about this process. That's what I mean when I say romantic.

Verlyn Klinkenborg: Yeah, that's interesting. And what I would say is, if you think about it this way, that we are who we are because we've evolved to be that way, we exist in a world that we are fitted to and the world is fitted to us. The idea that we can express something meaningful about ourselves and the world we're a part of shouldn't be surprising. The reason my class is structured the way it is, is because every single week I want the student to face the problem, "What am I going to write about? What am I interested in? How do I think about this? How do I begin a piece?" I don't ask for complete pieces. For me, the two- page fragment is fine. Just start and stop, I don't care.

I've had so many students come in and say, "Well, I have a problem with," and it's like, "I'm sorry, we start the sentence with 'I have a problem with', we are not going to be able to solve, but what are you getting stuck on? Let's look at it and think about it less as your problem and more as something that's technical outside of us that we can fix. So really, it's a matter of just keeping enough openness inside yourself, enough space to keep writing. It's just so easy to shut yourself down. My class is a lot of fun. It's really a very warm and very open, and it's a very giving class in all directions. But the reason for that is because if writing is not a pleasurable place for you to be, you're not going to write. If engaging in the act of writing isn't stirring something in you that feels good, you're not going to do it.

Kyla Sims: Mm-hmm. And I think that's an interesting point because one thing that I've seen with some of the newer writers is that they're really not spending that much time editing or revising. And personally, it just drives me nuts. There's this philosophy of let it flow and then tweak it. But what comes out first is best and flow is an indicator of quality or divine inspiration.

Verlyn Klinkenborg: Yeah, no, no. It's all nonsense.

Kyla Sims: And people are afraid of editing, they're afraid of feedback. And in your book, you rally against this a little bit, and obviously there's probably not a hard number for this. But ratio of editing to writing, what is the time relationship there?

Verlyn Klinkenborg: For me, there is no writing without revising. It may happen in my head, it may look like I'm just writing, but I'm revising that sentence before it reaches the page. The reason people don't do it is 'cause they haven't been taught how to do it, they don't know what to look for. It's fascinating as you realize they would love to edit, but they don't know which direction the goodness lies. It's like they're treading water in the open ocean and which way is land? We don't really know, we can't tell . what if we swim in this direction and it's not that direction? That's really how it feels to them, I think.

So part of the reason we look at those bad sentences, and the reason I line at it so carefully is because I can show a student, "So we have this sentence that's not very good, but watch, here's a really good sentence hidden inside that. Now, it's a good sentence. And all we had to do was remove a couple of words and do this," and suddenly, "Wow, what a good sentence you've made." It was already there, you just didn't know how to free it. That's a very liberating thing for most people. So getting technically absorbed in, " Okay, so maybe all the sentences as they first come out are not perfect, but I'm going to keep looking, keep finding better ways to express myself." The better you get technically as an editor, the better writer you are. A lot of people find that just heresy because they do want to believe in it's the first thing is best. I'm sorry. No, not at all. I'm sorry. In a couple of cases maybe, I don't know. For all practical purposes, no, absolutely not.

And this is part of the thing, the romantic myth is that the more you know about your language, the more you're getting in your own way. It's the opposite actually. The more about how your language works, the more you're able to free yourself, the more you're able to fix your prose. I can tell you, because this is what we do in class, there's something magical to saying, when you're looking at a student piece in class and saying, "What if we just did this?" And everybody goes, " Oh, I didn't know we could do that." And suddenly the pieces, something happens. They get to watch this magical thing takes place right in front of them. And it's not anything that I specially do, and anybody who revises well can do it, but they begin to realize that there's this real pleasure in actually watching this amazing stuff emerge with their own effort.

Kyla Sims: I love that.

Verlyn Klinkenborg: So that's why I don't really make a distinction between revising and writing.

Kyla Sims: Is there anything else today, as we close up, that I didn't ask you about that you think would be valuable to share with our audience?

Verlyn Klinkenborg: Well, I'll talk about a couple of things. One is people believe there are a lot of rules involved in this, and it could be grammatical rules, it could be rules of genre, rules of punctuation. We use a lot of prose that's written by really wonderful people like Joyce Carol Oates or Charles Lamb in the 19th century, and they don't punctuate the way students think they should. So it's like, "Oh, so we can play with this stuff." Everything's flexible, everything's adaptable, everything's adjustable. We can do all sorts of miraculous things. We're not in search of correctness, we're in search of clarity. We're in search of actually epiphany, if possible. You can't have a piece that's all epiphany all the time, it just doesn't work. But we are in search of these moments of clarity that can only come to us through clear language. I think first thing is for everyone to take it for granted. Something I take for granted in my students, that they have the ability to do this within them already.

They have all the tools they need already, they're already good speakers of the language, they've been using the language for 20 years plus. It doesn't mean that you end up writing about yourself. You turn your attention outward and see what you notice in the world around you. Something wonderful happens. You get to be yourself, you get to respond as yourself. But you don't have to be the center of attention, you have to be the subject. And that's really a relieving thing for a lot of people. There's just this endless... I mean, in my classes, people often begin with very personal essays because they know the material. It's about family, it's about problems, that sort of stuff. But they always move on. At some point, it's just like, " I'm tired of myself now. I want to do something that's more complicated and I want to look at the world. I want my language to move out into the world with me." What I would say is that for everyone who wants to think about writing, think carefully about the utility of everything you already know about writing.

There's a good chance that 90% of what you think you know about writing is absolutely wrong, and is designed to create a kind of prose you don't really need to make, and is also based on a premise of who you are that's probably inaccurate and not very fulfilling. So if you operate with a greater sense of trust, a greater sense of your own ability to educate yourself with the richness of the language in front of us, read, read, read, read, read it all the time. I mean, my students say, "What can we do to keep writing?" And my answer is, " Read." Reading is writing, as far as I'm concerned. And don't just read contemporary memoirs or contemporary novels. Start reading back into the 19th century, start reading back into the history of our language, where it's so powerful and so rich and so emotionally important. The more you can go back and look at how it's been done before, the deeper and richer the sense of what the resources and language really is. And then when you marry that with your own increasing trust in yourself and your trust in what you're noticing in the world around you, really remarkable things begin to happen. And there's no one to prevent you from doing this.

Kyla Sims: Thank you so much for your time, Verlyn.

Verlyn Klinkenborg: You're welcome, absolutely.

Kyla Sims: I really enjoyed this conversation. I know that our audience is going to love this and take a lot away from it. Yeah, I appreciate you so much. Thank you for being here.

Verlyn Klinkenborg: No, thank you.

Kyla Sims: Today, our guest was Verlyn Klinkenborg, accomplished author, professor, journalist and editor. I hope that you got as much out of our conversation as I did. But as Verlyn says, " There's no such thing as good advice about good writing." So get out there, and at the very least, try something new. I'm Kyla Sims, and this is Infernal Communication, brought to you by Staffbase, with production support from JAR Audio. Join us next time when we'll be talking about how to cut through the barrage of digital distractions to make sure we're being heard above all the noise.

Speaker 4: I can totally see how there's loads of noise in internal comms. I mean, imagine if there's like 10,000, 100,000 people in your business, there's a lot of stuff going on, to the point where you probably can't even do your job.

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