He survived an artillery barrage. It was like writing!

This week’s Grist is about the difficulty of composing a speech and it comes from speechwriter Tack Cornelius.

During World War I, Winston Churchill told his wife Clementine about “the first really sharp artillery fire I had been under, & certainly it seemed very dangerous. …

“I found my nerves in excellent order, and I do not think my pulse quickened at any time. But after it was over I felt strangely tired: as if I had done a hard day’s work at a speech or article.”

(Source: Churchill: A Life, by Martin Gilbert)

Cornelius hastens to add that he wouldn’t tell that story to someone who had been in combat. “But good writers know what Churchill was talking about.”

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