I'm not used to writing. I dunno. I'd quite like to write a tragedy or a sonnet or an ode, but there's the rules. THey put me off. They weren't made for amateurs. All this is already pretty badly written. O well. At any rate, I saw something today which I'd like to set down in writing. Set down in writing doesn't seem all that marvelous to me. It's probably one of those ready-made expressions which are objected to by the readers who read for the publishers who are looking for the originality which they seem to think is necessary in the manuscripts which the publishers publish when they've been read by the readers who object to ready-made expressions like "to set down in writing" which all the same is what I should like to do about something I saw today even though I'm only an amateur who is put off by the rules of the tragedy the sonnet or the ode because I'm not used to writing. Hell, I don't know how I did it but here I am right back at the beginning again. I'll never get to the end. So what. Let's take the bull by the horns. Another platitude. And anyway there was nothing of the bull about that chap. Huh, that's not bad. If I were to write: let's take the fancy-pants by the plait of his felt hat which hat is conjugated with long neck, that might well be original. THat might get me in with the gentlemen of the French Academy, the Café Flore and the Librairie Gallimard. Why shouldn't I make some progress, after all. It's by writing that you become a writesmith. That's a good one. Have to keep a sense of proportion, though. The chap on the bus platform had lost his when he started to swear at the man next to him claiming that the latter trod on his toes every time he squeezed himself up to let passengers get on or off. All the more so as after he'd protested in this fashion he went off quickly enough to sit down as soon as he'd spotted a free seat inside as if he was afraid of getting hit. Hm, I've got through half my story already. Wonder how I did it. Writing's really quite pleasant. But there's still the most difficult part left. The part where you need the most know-how. The transition. All the more so as there isn't any transition. I'd rather stop here.
— quoted from Barbara Wright's translation of Raymond Queneau's Exercises in Style