The Saturday Writing Quote — flow

“The process of composition should, if possible, have some rush of excitement about it — not remain too slow, cold, calculated, and self-critical. For this is not only chilling; it may lead the more conscious side of the mind to cramping interference. In tennis, to play with gritted teeth and tense concentration may merely stiffen the muscles: once the necessary reflexes have been formed by practice, it may work far better to use one’s head to think where to put the ball, but leave it to one’s body how to put it there.”

F.L. Lucas, Style 254-55 (1955; repr. 1962) (quoted in Garner’s Daily Usage blog, by Bryan Garner, author of Garner’s Modern American Usage)

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