Wednesday, July 4, 2012

When does a non-writer become a writer?

Writing has never come naturally to me.  I almost named this post "What the hell am I doing?"

I'm an engineer; the only writing practice I've had since freshman comp is writing technical documents (entirely devoid of 1st person) that are dry, descriptive, and boring.  Clearly writing compelling, persuasive, and interesting blog posts is not my strong suit.  But then again, maybe that's the point.  Writing proposals, technical documents, and lab reports every week leaves no chance to practice a more casual form of communication.  This blog will give me a chance to branch out and explore my writing style and rhetoric.

Normally when writing, I struggle and debate every single word and refuse to move on until each sentence has been perfected (an I rarely go back to revise my draft because I refuse to accept that it was flawed the first time).  But as I read more and more blogs and non-fiction books I've found that the style I enjoy most is more conversational.  When the author speaks to me directly and honestly I feel included in the conversation.  My favorite authors never just lay out facts and then explain them, they describe their own thought process as they explore the evidence and invite me to explore my own.  I want to emulate this type of writing.

So far, all of my posts have been a lightly edited stream of consciousness.  I don't set out with an outline and a fully fledged argument ready to persuade everyone to my viewpoint;  I think of something interesting to me and then start writing down my thoughts on the issue.  As I've said before this blog is meant to be a place to develop and articulate new ideas within myself.  I want to figure out what I believe through writing, not just write what I already know.

Also, it doesn't make much sense to preach to a following of 0.
Still: "If you build it, they will come."

1 comment:

  1. Writing takes years to get right. Your head has to be in the right place for the words to flow, and sometimes, after years of pouring your heart and soul onto the paper (or word document as the case may be), no one wants to read it! Self belief is crucial if one is to succeed at any writing endeavor.