The Two Sides of Writing

“Everybody can write. But not everybody can become a writer.” Is that true? How and why? A question like this surfaced during our interaction.

In my previous post, I shared with you what writing has brought to me. In this post, we will discuss what people, like you and, I often bring back to writing.

Writing is Natural

The only mechanical parts in writing, today, are the brain and the hands. The other parts are intangible. And some parts that were previously tangible have now been taken care of using the software. We can monitor and control the efficiency of hands. But we can neither control nor accurately monitor the effectiveness of the brain. That’s because, when writing, we are looking through a dirty mirror. The messier its reflection is, the less clearly we see. But, with practice, we can clean the mirror. The better we look through to our real, actual selves, the better we write.

Unlike painters and sculptors, writing doesn’t involve long hours of practice every day. Unlike singers or dancers, writing does not need to be taught by gurus.


Writing is a skillful art that can be learned without anyone teaching it.


A lot of people write every day. Even if you were to write something as short as of 500 words every day, which usually takes not more than 30 minutes, you could hone your writing skills in as little as a year. Without ever using the principles of a good story, it is still possible for you to create a useful account. Logically enough, people will either read their way through it or sleep their way through it. The choice becomes more evident if your work of fiction comes as a hardcover.

Writing is Mechanical

A lot of people often have commented that “writing is a creative process.” But what they don’t realize is that while they lay stress on the word “creative,” they must equally stress the word “process.” The fact that it is as much a process as creativity means that step B cannot begin until step A is finished.

To be able to say what you have to, you must put your words in a certain way. The result may be delayed, but it must explain what you intend to. For this, you must abide by the rules of grammar and structure. Not only that, even while you say things in a flow, or let your fingertips be the narrators of your great story, it is your mind that must sieve that story through filters for quality purposes. This mechanical process of flowing from ‘knowing the science’ to ‘practicing the science’ as you write is a costly affair. First, it doesn’t come easy. Second, its only triggers are failures and rejections. But then, Rome wasn’t built in a day, was it?


The person who crafts the art isn’t always the same person who explains the creation.


Simple thoughts often invoke smiles that no one can see, except for one’s own mind. It is thoughts like these that underpin humor. This is why, even when writing provides one the license to think without boundaries, the writer must attribute the boundlessness to rationality and reasoning. So long as your characters and their behaviors remain deducible, they remain real, relatable.

Conclusion

As you might have observed, the parameters that define the two sides of writing are often confusing and intertwined. During my post-graduation, we were taught that “management is a scientific art and artistic science.” I’d like to think that that definition suits more to writing than to management.

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Any skill that requires you to follow a process has to have mechanics. Anything that is coded within the rules of a language needs artistic intuition to unfold its true, magical potential.

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