There was a great little piece on the NY Times Opinionator blog about “the art of repetition,” and about how someone becomes a better writer – by learning to write thank-you notes:
Having opened my share of thank-you notes over the years and having watched my kids write their own, I knew that nonwriters treat the process as an exercise in efficiency. Find a nice way to say something, and then copy and paste. The shorter, the better. Get it done and cross one more name off the list.
To become a writer, you have to follow a few rules: Show, don’t tell. Avoid clichés. Be specific. Try not to repeat yourself.