Friday, May 04, 2007

Article in Progress

Here's a little snippet from an article I've been working on today. Maybe it'll be of interest, although nothing earth shaking certainly. It's meant primarily for the college level writer.

Remember that we often get a mistaken impression about how talented other people are. We pick up a novel and think how superbly written it is. We hear a good lecture from a teacher and we think, “Wow, this lady really knows her stuff.” We see Shaquille O’Neal slam-dunk a basketball and we just stare. In each case we think how lucky some people are to be born with those kinds of skills. And in each case we are wrong.

Sure, Shaq would probably be better at basketball than most of us even if he had never practiced it. But all of us could be better than we are if we worked hard enough at it. People are not born experts. They may have innate talents, like size, speed, or coordination, but most people have to work hard to make their jobs look easy. Writing is the same. Being a good writer is probably both a gift and a learned skill. Some people may just be better than others. But almost everyone can learn to write a term paper that will earn an “A” in college.


Susan Miller said...

This brings back memories of shooting free throws for hours in the backyard in the hopes that one day I could have 10 out of 10 at the next junior high basketball practice. Sadly, 100% was not in the cards for me, but there are memories in that backyard and maybe I went from 30 to 80% by the time I moved on to other things.

Yes, Charles, I agree with you. Writing is work. And, man, do I sometimes struggle with it. I fight it and then learn from it. So I keep at it and try to learn from you and all the others here that keep shooting. Thank you again for what you do.

Charles Gramlich said...

Your welcome, susan. Thanks for joining in the fight.

Bernita said...

Yes, this is a very good point.
Every occupation/profession has its tricks and short cuts that are learned from apprenticeship.
Yet people persist in believing a master cabinet maker was born knowing about clamps and finishes and design.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Writing is a curse that I can't break. No matter what I put down on paper, I always look back at it and wish I could've done better. But it's never because of lack of effort.

Danny Tagalog said...

Ain't that the truth. Perspiration and all that jazz.

Erik Donald France said...

Excellent -- and right on.