Mechanics to mastery

07/03/2013

The difference between good writing and great writing is dramatic.

Putting together words on a page isn’t particularly challenging, but making words leap from a page and transporting the reader to the destination of your choice requires both a strong command of language and thousands of hours of practice.

I can tell when I’m in the flow of good writing because it feels less like tapping keys and more like playing an instrument. Ideas take shape and get chiseled into prose with what feels like effortless, dancing keystrokes. And the editing process feels less like work and more like polishing.

This isn’t to say that I’ve arrived as a writer, but I can certainly see improvement over the years. As a matter of fact, I cringe when reading some of my old posts so perhaps I’ve gone from abysmal to decent. Growth is growth, leave me alone.

Artists who have mastered their craft take the mechanics of their work and create an experience with it. Atop the mechanics sit passion and empathy and storytelling and taste and style.

Unnecessary elements are removed (or never get included) so once the finished product is shipped, the signal is clear and makes contact with the world in a powerful way.