2 comments on “Word Up!

  1. I really like what you’re saying here! And I try to employ many of these techniques as I engage in my own writing process. That said, I’d like to acknowledge one thing that wasn’t explicit enough for me in this post: Writing is hard work! It takes time to develop ideas and more time to make them crystal clear for readers.

    I think there is a general cultural belief that writers are those people who can sit down and bang out a beautiful essay in an hour or two; however, this isn’t the case for most writers. Writing an article is like training for a race. Yes, there is the race result, the polished writing product that everyone sees. But there is also the “hidden” training where the writer engages with the arduous process of developing and refining his or her ideas. You don’t have to be a “natural” to be a writer, you just have to engage in the process for long enough to be content* with what you have written.

    A resource that I’ve found useful–especially for American writers– is the Purdue online writing lab (https://owl.english.purdue.edu/). The site covers writing from forming an English sentence to supporting your claims, and from learning the rhetorical triangle to structuring an article, paper, blog, or essay. Check it out!

    Last but not least, if you do choose to write like James Joyce, please choose to imitate his style in Dubliners and not his style in Finnegan’s Wake. The stream of consciousness style of Finnegan’s Wake is brilliant, but extremely confusing for readers. Of course, you are welcome to disagree!

    *I say “content,” here, because not many people are ever really happy with what they’ve written–especially right off the bat. The trick is knowing when to keep going and when to stop. This sense takes time to develop. To start, ask others–your partner, your brother/sister, your friend–and find out what they think.

    • Jon

      Many thanks for taking the time to comment so constructively.

      I agree that writing can be hard work and to get more than a basic commentary takes a long time. Goodness knows how long it took for Joyce to write Finnegan’s Wake. I only managed two pages!

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