It’s All in Our Approach
[FONT=&]In business, we want our writing to be short and to the point. A lengthy or unclear email can cause undue misunderstanding, aside from wasting time (and our employers’ profit margin) as we untangle the confusion! If my friend from Post 1 were to write about poverty and education in South Africa, her article would be filled with statistical information and interviews as she made her case. Her approach, we might say, would be very business-like. She would want to get to the bottom dollar while optimistically seeking the greatest good for the people in her report.[/FONT]
[FONT=&]Yet, prose seeks a higher aesthetic. We don’t just communicate facts about what we write, we communicate truths. Sometimes these truths go beyond the facts. I read an excellent example of this last night in a thread begun by SueC, entitled “Ideals of the Past.” (Ironically, the discussion that followed also dealt with questions of education and poverty.) Should you have the opportunity, please read the post and notice how the beautifully written complaint ultimately reveals the dustbowl farmer’s awareness that his way of life is dying. While his approach does reveal observed facts, those facts describe a turning point in the human condition. However, it is the wound in his soul with which we connect.
[FONT=&]To conclude this segment, the aspiring creative writer who has had a professional career may need some help in connecting with the audience in his intended genre. One of these hurdles is in how he approaches writing: is it by way of head knowledge, or is it through the heart? [/FONT]
[FONT=&]My humble suggestion in overcoming this is to keep a journal as you begin reading the classics. The purpose of journaling observations about how an author handled a scene is not to capture any secret formula, but to reinforce the observations you make. Is there a pattern to your observations? If so, setting yourself a handful of writing exercises around that theme may help you to break through your head training into the heart of what you want to write.[/FONT]