One time, the publisher of Mark Twain told him through telegram to write a short story:
NEED 2-PAGE SHORT STORY TWO DAYS
Twain wired back with this:
NO CAN DO 2 PAGES TWO DAYS. CAN DO 30 PAGES 2 DAYS. NEED 30 DAYS TO DO 2 PAGES.
“I… never could make a good impromptu speech,” Twain once said, “without several hours to prepare it.”