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On Being a Writer - Synchronicity swirls and other foolishness

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November 19th, 2009

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04:08 pm - On Being a Writer
I typically consider my job as being similar to that of the old pulp writers. As I mentioned before, I once had to turn down an opportunity to write an RPG adventure based on a cover that the company had. The mixture of work for hire and writing projects to pre-arranged specifications puts me in much the same position as many of the hack genre authors of the 20s-60s, which I regard as fine company. However, it's also odd and amusing to realize that any of my high school teachers or college professors would be utterly shocked to learn that I ended up as a professional writer. I was someone known for exceedingly high exam scores and moderately well done papers with dubious grammar and utterly uninspired writing. I remember hearing various papers written by skilled writers read aloud to a class and being impressed at amazed at how well the words flowed and how little like mine they seemed. Somewhere between graduate school and my first few gaming projects (mostly the later) I learned how to write moderately well, and time and several million words of practice have further refined that.

I got to thinking of this, because while waiting for my next assignment to begin (I should get the assignment early next week), I agreed to help a good friend create a write-up for a series of presentations they are giving. This friend is exceedingly intelligent, has a college degree, and a well-paying professional job. However, they also have little experience writing, and have been exceedingly impressed at how I have edited, reorganized and reworked their text. In addition to being quite a pleasant ego-boost, this experience also helped me realize that I have actually learned to be quite a good writer. I'm certainly not a brilliant writer or someone whose prose is worthy of acclaim, but I write solidly, smoothly, and clearly, which is clearly a rarer talent than I most often realize.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative

(3 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:November 20th, 2009 12:39 am (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:November 20th, 2009 02:21 am (UTC)
I'd say your story suggests that it's a rare skill, not a rare talent.

(And huzzah! as well, of course.)
[User Picture]
Date:November 20th, 2009 02:16 pm (UTC)

I continue to find ironic and amusing the fact that one of the reasons I was booted out of grad school was because I didn't know how to write scientific articles and proposals. And now I make my living writing scientific and medical content.

So many things go into making a good writer, and the biggest part is the intelligence and ability to learn the trade.

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