What I Talk About When I Talk About Writing
So many genres. So many sub-streams. So much jargon. So much information. So much marketing.
No, I don’t call all of that writing.
Somewhere, in the last 5 yrs, the whole concept of “writing” seems to have disappeared from the minds of people like how salt disappears in water.
What is writing, essentially? As per me, ofcourse, since this is my blog post and since the post title clearly enunciates as much.
Writing is communicating any idea(s) in your own way by stringing words together to create a certain effect on the reader.
So, anything that is “written” can be “writing” or may not be “writing”. That email you wrote to your boss: yes, it may be a beautiful piece of writing or it may not be. Were you thinking about how you want your boss to feel at the end of the email? Were you paying attention to what words you are picking and how you are arranging them? Were you writing a “filler email” or actually had something to say? Ditto for your last facebook post or tweet.
Think about it. And also think about this: is it really worth writing anything if it doesn’t follow the pattern in the definition? Think and come to your own conclusions.
I read a whole lot; magazines, books, websites, facebook posts, tweets, writings on the wall, educational material, product labels, legal documents, photo descriptions … you get the idea. There is so much out there that falls flat in one or the other way that it makes me wonder what people were planning on achieving when they wrote that.
The best of the best writing makes you think, and, preferably, think different or think afresh about things you have already given a thought to.
I hope I have been able to reach that end through this post :)
PS: Thanks Haruki Murakami and Raymond Carver. Ever since I have read the titles of your books, I have wanted to steal them for my own purposes :D