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BetterWriting

Sometimes people indicate in their letters to me (I get a few, not many mind you!) that they find bits of the ^zhurnal well-written, perhaps even delightfully so. I'm tickled and flattered, obviously, to hear that. I'm also embarrassed, especially when I look back at some of my worst failures to craft what I consider even marginally passable prose.

What really makes me blush, however, is the occasional implication by correspondents that what appears here is extraordinary or out-of-reach, something that they couldn't do themselves. No! Believe me when I swear that the primary author of this stuff is an ordinary person, quite as mortal as thou. I admit only to have worked sporadically for some decades on my writing --- though work is far too strong a term. Perhaps, like "The Mailman" in VernorVinge's novel True Names, I've achieved semi-conscious self-awareness for intermittent moments during those years; at least, I fantasize that I may have.

Writing resembles physical exercise: improvement is invisibly slow day-by-day. But wouldn't it be disappointing if one couldn't measure some small progress after months and months of labor?

Like my attitude about running, I have the hope someday to write almost well --- if I'm blessed with time and strength to tap away at the keyboard long enough. Meanwhile, also like my runs, I find what fun I can along the way ...

(see also DearDiary (19 Mar 2001), WritingRewards (9 Jun 2001), ...)


TopicWriting - TopicZhurnal - TopicPersonalHistory - Datetag20030516



(correlates: 2007-08-31 - Lap, Dog, AnAcknowledgement, CertainExpression, ...)