What advice would you give someone who wants to learn the craft of writing well?

Someone who always reads opinion columns with a hint of self-loathing;

For, to be able to express yourself so succinctly, in a calm and measured manner, with a certain grace in form, must mean you, dear writer, embody these virtues within.

For a well-ordered length of words, structured to lead a reader through a swamp of questions into a stable light reflects on your well-ordered mind, dear writer.

Because writing — writing this, that, anything— is akin to exposing yourself to the world. It is the figurative equivalent of undressing yourself in the middle of the mall, on a Sale day.

And if you can do it with a certain quiet dignity and courage — why then, you must be in pretty great shape, dear writer!

How do you stay in shape?

And how can someone like me, clumsy and earnest, get in great shape?

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