Have you ever read a sentence that makes your heart stop? The words appear to fly off the page and make you pause. A sentence, or a piece of writing, which has simplicity and beauty, a sentence that has power. A piece of writing which, like handcrafted furniture or bespoke millinery, causes silence as you admire the craftsmanship of the author or writer?
Some will say writing, and writing well like this, is a science. Such craftsmanship can only be created through learning the techniques and with enthusiastic attention to detail. Style manuals become the tools of choice, and integrity of prose gets lost in the quest for the pure science of writing.
For others, writing is an art. Like the finest painters or the most challenging photographers, writing then becomes alien and remote from the reader, and other writers or authors. Thinking of writing as an art form then makes it this mythical beast that can only be summoned following exclusive rituals of your choice.
I think it is partly both. Clarity of expression is assisted by the science of writing, the consistency of style, and an understanding of technique. But meaning and resonance is often achieved by creative application of intuition and inspiration.
Above all else though, the key, overarching mission of any piece of writing, be that exhibition label, magazine article or annual report is perfect clarity. As Joseph Putlizer once said: "I hate all rare, unusual, non-understandable words. Avoid the vanity of foreign words or phrases or unfamiliar terms. Editorials must be written for the people, not for a few."
Taking a dose of science and a brush of art in the pursuit of perfect clarity is the mission of any writer who cares about their reader. Writing in the end is about the reader, not the author.