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Steve Levitt on writing, letting work sit for a while and humility

I was working on the paper with a professor at Yale… and I sent him a draft of the paper. He sends me back his version of the paper and it is so terribly written I cannot believe it. He has taken an incredible paper and made it unreadable. So I’m like … I’m just going to go back to the version I wrote that I’d printed out, and I’m going to retype this whole thing. I went back to it and he had changed four words in the entire thing, and the terrible writing was all my own. And it was shocking to me – I had this self-perception that I knew how to write, which I’ve been much more humble about ever since.

Steve Levitt – People I (Mostly) Admire Ep. 37

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