Writing well is an essential skill. With information so abundant and the time to process it so scarce, clear, concise and compelling prose are more important than ever. Like any skill, writing well requires both study and practice. Great literature is our most useful study aid and reading authors who have stood the test of time will always help to improve our abilities.
The modern world requires us to produce huge quantities of brief written content through email and text messages which depresses me and inspires me at the same time. Most people find they have no time to read long form, thoughtful prose. I worry that rising generations do not have the attention span to learn from the best writing. Yet everyone is now regularly expressing themselves with written texts and emails. More writing by individuals is occurring than at any other time in history. My hope is that this means that people will value the acquired skill of writing well more than ever.
Drawing attention here to good writing and inspiring authors can spark a debate about what makes them succeed. What is the best thing you have ever read? What is the best thing you have ever written?