Tag Archives: #OnWriting ✍🏼

2020/02/23 #SundaySentence

It is because you think if you own publishing you can control what’s printed, what’s written, what’s read? Well, lotsa luck, sir. It’s a common delusion of tyrants. Writers and readers, even as they suffer from it, regard it with amused contempt.

by Margaret Atwood from her essay “Staying Awake” (Harper Magazine 2008)

Sunday Sentence: The sentence(s) that touched me this week, out of context and without commentary. Inspired by David Abrams at The Quivering Pen.

Becoming a better writer?

 Jon Winokur (@AdviceToWriters)  2013-02-17 19:37  The only way to become a better writer is to become a better person. BRENDA UELAND #amwriting #writing

I ran across the above tweet yesterday and was immediately struck by the wrongness of it, though it took me a little while to understand why it was wrong.  In concept, it should be a true statement.  Shouldn’t the best way to become anything better be to become a better person?  Shouldn’t that be a fundamental truism across the board?

Yes, it should be true.  Yet, looking back through literary history, there is not much evidence to support it.

Artistic ability does not really seem to be associated to being a better person.  One could argue that there is a tie between wanting to be better or at least questioning what it could mean to be better, but I don’t see how being a subjectively better person makes you better at the art and craft of writing (or any artistic endeavour for that matter).  It does, however, still make a great sound bite, and I won’t argue that it doesn’t do any damage to let it run wild.  The world could use some “better people” right now.