Excellent writing fascinates me because it is so powerful. I believe that writers are born. But even born writers must be trained. I was a writer from a young age. I made comic books for my brother, and I told him stories at night about my stuffed animals to make him laugh.
My training has mostly been outside the classroom. I was educated in California where grammar wasn’t taught. It was considered an unnecessary encumbrance to the creative process. I drive my editors insane.
“Prose is architecture, not interior decoration.” Ernest Hemingway
I write a lot. I write almost all the time. I write on the bus. I write at the coffee shop. I write at home. I write for a living.
When I am not writing, I am usually reading. I read on a Kindle, a smart phone, and an HP Netbook. I also have shelves of books I haven’t time to read yet. But the collection grows because I can’t help collecting interesting titles.
“Read everything--trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you'll find out.” William Faulkner
The written word is no less magic for me within a grant proposal than it is within a fictional book about goblins and faeries. Description and beautiful arrangement of words, phrases, and sentences stands out when you read it no matter what it’s about. There is a flow to excellent writing that is simply wonderful. Achieving that flow is mastery. Every once in a while I’ll write something that comes close to achieving the flow. But it’s hard work and I don’t do achieve that level as often as I aspire to do.
“Quantity produces quality. If you only write a few things, you're doomed.” Ray Bradbury
Writing a fine narrative is hard work that requires hours of revising, polishing, and editing. There’s no way around the work, there are no shortcuts.
“God sells us all things at the price of the labor.” Leonardo da Vinci