What do you think ?
Note by the way ... "to write"
Good Day ...
Let's see if i can start something...
"Education" is low on my list. My own observation is that formal training just teaches people with nothing to say how to mask it.
Tops on my list is desire. In order to write, one must possess the desire. Talent is wasted on those of use who are capable, but who are happy to putter.
I would think money comes into play as well. Marrying rich affords one the time to putter continously, eventually to unearth that killer title.
Three posts on writing that in total add up to less then 80 words. What qualifies one to write? Having something to say that one can be bothered to explain would be my take.
I wager there are plenty who write with nothing to say. I offer myself as a prime example.
Certainly there are those with way too much to say who should be physically restrained from keyboard or pencil!
The key word is "Qualified".
I would assume one would be "qualified" if someone else enjoys reading it(?)
One man's trash is another man's treasure. If you like a subject and think you have something to offer, write about it. If you think someone else can learn something from your writings, write. Don't sit there and wonder "what if?" Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Good point live Oak lady .....
In order to be a garden writer I think you should at least have a garden and know first hand what you are writing about. Otherwise, you are just parroting what others have written.
It seems to me that the market writing for beginners is much larger than writing to the experienced gardeners.
I thought about being a garden writer, but found out I am not a good elementary teacher.
BoTann, plenty of people write about God, but i'd wager few actually are one.
A writer who is an inexperienced gardener wouldn't have to parrot what others had written. It is quite easy to make up new facts on the fly. Gardening is full of these lesser known items that the common folk love to gobble up. An example...
Planting a 150' row of hemlocks along your property line makes a nice evergreen frame for your yard, screens out the view to your neighbor's junkyard and provides a sense of privacy.
The reality is that keeping a tree that wants to be 200 feet tall trimmed to a height 6 inches higher than you can reach with your tallest ladder doesn't make much sense. Along with screening out that view of your neighbor, it also eliminates most of the sky and sunlight and any warmth that normally is associated with summer. Snow that melted in your yard in April, now defies early summer and sits as your own private glacier. Lastly, while it's cute, the neighborhood children all now sing, "Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my!" as they creep by the dark forest that was once your front yard. Your sense of privacy is the result of the fear of the townfolk who are afraid of the strange people who live in the little house in the black wood.
The more i think about it, the less i think hands on experience is desired. Think of the limits facts have and the freedom it gives a writer not to have to worry about them. You could write about the benefits of adding meat to the compost pile! No more dumping in the land fills or clogging the arteries of our sewer systems with disposaled leftovers. Compost it and see the wildlife increase in your backyard. Animals that the pest control people thought were extinct in this hemisphere would abound in your yard. Naturalists would clamor to pay a few buck to sit in your yard and take photos. You might even win a presidential award for creative ecological activism!
Qualifications to write as opposed to qualifications to be published? To be published good grammar, timing, and chutzpah often count before subject matter...there's not much that hasn't already been hashed out. To write you must have a desire inside you to share your point of view first, then the ability to make that point of view felt by others. The first is far easier than the latter. To make your voice heard above others takes more where-with-all and courage than anything else. Remember that you will never make everyone happy, someone will ALWAYS disagree with you and that sometimes those someones can be loudly vocal with their searing criticism. Be strong and hold onto your truths because no matter how strong of a dissent towards your own views the truth of them cannot ever be changed.
Critics may not agree with you but that doesn't mean that they can alter the facts as they truly are. Don't let dissent ever still your voice.
"Don't let dissent ever still your voice."
Words of Wisdom .... although it may get harder in this country before it gets easier.
Must writers write only to be widely appreciated? Are writers that are fresh, irreverent, dissenting, undeserving of print? Do we need to dumb down to be publishable? If the words are true and well-spoken, but the audience lazy, should the writer be silenced?
Should the writer write to the lowest common denominator?
Schoolbook readers and newspapers from 100 years ago used vocabulary and phrasing that would seem advanced today compared to current popular liturature. Are we moving backward?
I believe I am a competent writer, yet I feel I am often misunderstood in print. I am precise in my words, economical of speech, yet I feel I am dismissed as unworthy because I don't regurgitate the party line.
Is one qualified to write because they write what is already accepted in the media they choose?
Many people are quite qualified to write. They do not need to be published. I would venture to say that unpublished work often can be far superior to that which is published.
Some people are able to paint pictures with their words; they can persuade or dissuade others, they can instruct.... These are all valuable talents. It's sad that in this modern world the convenience of communication and the urge for living ever faster has diminished the appreciation of a good writer.
They was a day when a well made wooden bucket, one that wouldn't leak out all its contents on the trip back from the well, was a prized possesion. Why wouldn't the written word go the same way? Today, I often use my faucet to get a drink, and i watch "Survivor" for my entertainment. My wooden bucket sits on the shelf as a decoration, right next to my copy of "The Three Musketeers".
Poppa, I grieve over your tv habits, your lonely bookshelf, the modern condition, your neighbour's junkyard, and your pet glacier. Does your faucet have a good crank? ;-)
When I first learned to write, I learned not to link all the letters together, just the ones in the same word. Since then, I've been qualified to write.
Jenizone, as Dumas might say, Â«bon courage!Â» It's the eternal young writer's problem.
"He writeth well, who loveth well/ Both man and bird and beast." - Coleridge, slightly adapted
Many interesting ideas ... perhaps a different slant .. When do you know your writing is finished .. that is you did all you can to make it better and it's ready for the world to use ??
When you think it's done, it's done. You will always think of something later that you could have added. When you're done with it (your writing) it passes on to someone else, be it editor, publisher, or proofreader till they're done then it goes to the printer and so on. Never publish without your material being proofread. That's my two cents worth.
>Never publish without your material['s] being proofread.:-) In marked contrast to today, only 50 years ago EVERYTHING that was published, even billboards and toy packaging, was double-proofed, twice. And English teachers taught sentence diagramming rigorously; those are the reasons our generation spells and punctuates so much better than subsequent ones. My favorite author, for example, Georgette Heyer (d. 1974), could get away with a sentence that took up most of a page, because she punctuated so perfectly.
Back to the thread: Loving language, revering the bon mot, and admiring those who can wrangle words down until the reader is hogtied -- if those feelings make you want to express your own unique truth, and you do, and someone else reads and understands it, then you're qualified. If people turn to you when they need something written or deciphered, you're qualified. And if anyone has ever said of your words, "Damn, I wish I could write like that!", then you're qualified.
You may not be wonderful at the mechanics, but that will come with time; and, if it doesn't, that's what editors and copyeditors are for. I know: I are one (freelance pro copy chief for outdoor magazines and for a columnist, newsletterer and feature writer), and I write some, too.
Someone earlier said that talent is wasted on those who are capable but content to putter. I take great exception to that statement: Sometimes puttering is simply preparation. And sometimes such puttering sells. So it's not the Great American Novel; big deal!
Stand tall at being small. Go for the cash -- ask Ogden Nash!
You're right about today's lack of education. What ever happened to diagramming of sentences? My favorite sentence was "He who steals my purse steals trash." Diagram that!
And spelling? I don't believe that is taught anymore. Instead, they put children in front of computers at age three and teach them to use spellcheck. I substitute teach at times and it is appalling the way children write these days, or cannot write these days. I know this sounds like I'm preaching, but we have truly become lax in the education of our children as far as grammar and spelling goes. They just want to WRITE FOR THE CASH.
When I graduated from high school I searched the want ads for a job diagramming sentences..... and there were none.
I have been quoted, i must be a writer!
CarpenterAunt... what i meant by that remark is simply that the desire to write, or perhaps more aptly, the dicipline to write (or the desire to be diciplined?), is far more important than the talent itself.
I like your thought that puttering is simply preparation. It gives me hope. "Someday" i tell myself, "i'll sit down and write that book!". I know i won't though. Self imposed deadlines pass and are reset, only to pass by again. I will putter until i am old and grey and soil myself daily and need to be spoonfed. The stories will remain deep in my imagination where i will live until i live no more.
Live Oak Lady... Diagraming sentences has long since passed its usefullness. Once, when language was simple, it was ok to be skilled in the mechanics. You could spend the time to tinker until it ran smoothly across the lips, but who has the time today? I need to be in three places at one time, i no longer have the luxury to perform a tune-up. Let my sentences, held together with ducktape, billow blue smoke down the information highway... it gets more attention that way.