"Successful and unsuccessful people do
not vary greatly in their abilities.
They vary in their desires to
reach their potential."
-- John Maxwell
For a good writer, there is only one measure of success,
and that is found in his honoring the complexity and richness
of his subject while telling his story in a lucid way.
-- Joseph Epstein
The most important sentence in any article is the first one. If it doesn’t induce the reader to proceed to the second sentence, your article is dead. And if the second sentence doesn’t induce him to continue to the third sentence, it’s equally dead. Of such a progression of sentences, each tugging the reader forward until he is hooked, a writer constructs that fateful unit, the “lead.”
-–William Zinsser, On Writing Well, p. 55