Monday, October 15, 2007

Naturally Difficult

blog: Zinsser claims "The only way to learn to write is to force yourself to produce a certain number of words on a regular basis" (49). Why do you think he says this?

Randall Jarrell, the American poet, likens creative inspiration to being struck by lightning—one has to stand out in many storms in order to get hit. My inclination is to agree with both Jarrell and Zinsser. If one is regularly at the business of doing something, one is showing a willingness to let good things happen. Of course notice that Zinsser uses the words “force” and “certain number” and “regular basis,” suggesting discipline—and discipline includes a good heart. One can go through plenty of motions and get few results. Bad attitudes perpetuate bad attitudes and create bad products. I like Zinsser’s word “force” because it suggests that this routine, this discipline, is not a matter of natural inclination. If things don’t come easy, that doesn’t mean they aren’t natural to us—natural childbirth being a key example.

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