August 15th, 2008

  • jij

Open Thread: Oracle Hotline

The Introduction to Roy Peter Clark's Writer's Tools discusses why many people don't write:

One big reason is the writer's struggle.  Too many writers talk and act as if writing were slow torture, a form of procreation without arousal and romance--all dilation and contraction, grunting and pushing.  As New Work sports writer Red Smith once observed, "Writing is easy.  All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein."  The agony in Madison Square Garden.

If you want to write, here's a secret:  the writer's struggle is ovverrated, a con game, a cognitive distortion, a self-fulfilling prophecy, the best excuse for not writing.  "Why should I get writer's block?" asked the mischievous Roger Simon.  "My father never got truck driver's block."

Good readers may struggle with a difficult text, but struggle is not the goal of reading.  The goal is fluency.  Meaning flows to the good reader.  In the same way, writing should flow from the good writer, at least as an ideal.

*looks at her laborious and rather forced work from this week*

Well, I'm glad it's an ideal and not a requirement.  ;)

How's everyone else doing?  Effortful or effortless work this week?