Advice from the Masters: Thomas Sowell

Jul 6, 2012 | Better Writing

Thomas Sowell has written more than thirty books, most of which involve economics in some way. One of them is a popular introductory economics textbook: Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy. It wasn’t his first try at a textbook. Here’s how he described his experience in a recent post.

“Having written two textbooks on introductory economics — one full of graphs and equations, and the other with neither — I know from experience that the second way is a lot harder to write, and is more time-consuming. The first book was written in a year; the second took a decade. The first book quickly went out of print. The second book (‘Basic Economics’) has gone through 4 editions and has been translated into 6 foreign languages. Both books taught the same principles, but obviously one approach did so more successfully than the other.”

This is something that everyone who is serious about writing well has to learn over and over. If you want to write something that’s easy to read, you’ll probably find that it’s hard to write. It’s worth the effort, though.

Want more? Check out the complete list of Advice from the Masters posts.