Thursday, March 1, 2012
On Being a Writer
Writers are creative people. In the beginning they created writing as a means to calculate and communicate directly. From parchment to digital, the writer is the conduit of ideas and information.
What makes a writer?
The technical part of writing consists of the words, grammar, and document structure.
The components of the structure depend upon the information and the audience. Is the document medical or legal in nature? Is the document a story meant to entertain? The answers to basic questions about the audience and information determine which tools the writer will pull from their tool kit.
Everyone has a least one story to tell. Some writers have many. These stories may materialize in novel or memoir form. The challenge of an autobiography can be invigorating or terrorizing.
Bottom line, the determining factor between writers & wish-to-be writers is the writing.
So you want to be a writer? The quick answer is to write.
For those who have a writer in the family, it’s easy to see what is required to be a writer. For those who haven’t observed the writing process, it may be hard to envision how to go about the process but it can be done.
Begin with studying the tools necessary to write well.
Strunk & White’s Elements of Style is one book in every writer’s library. In the forward written by E.B. White, he suggests the writer should stick with the rules of rhetoric. To do otherwise, requires superior merit from the writer to compensate the reader for having broken the rules.
Writing and rewriting becomes a well-trodden path for the writer. Eliminating the unnecessary to reveal the essence of the piece turns the writer into a good writer over the course of time.
Ultimately, the writer needs to like what is produced in order to continue. In Elements of Style we're told: “The whole duty of the writer is to please and satisfy himself."