THE WORLD OF A WRITERWritten by Arleen M. Kaptur
Writing is compared to almost every other activity. Some say its like trekking through a jungle of wild publishers and editors. Others claim its very similar to climbing up a mountain of rejection and hoping you donít fall into despair. Then thereís opinion that all authors are driven, compulsive, and very uncooperative. Now, in all honesty, none of us are even closely related to any of stereo-types that some have of writers.
In reality, we are just ordinary people who have been given a talent to use written word to reach others, entertain, educate and persuade. Many times we do have passion for what we are doing, schedules and rejections do get you down, and discipline is always a problem. If there were no books, articles, news items, or other related writing, people would still be drawing stick figures on cave walls and hoping for best. Man has evolved into an intelligent, caring, and curious being who enjoys reading about remote places, stories that he/she can related to, and fact sheets on subjects that range from A to Z. People love to read and writers love to write what they read. When you put your words on paper, you are stepping into literary world and hoping for best. You have a deep feeling that you have something to say and that world would be better off if you share it. You definitely want to reach out and touch others with your tales, your knowledge, research, or ability to put into words what others are thinking and doing.
Writers have an uncanny ability to put faces on their characters and words in their mouths. We give them new worlds to explore and live in. There are challenges that affect them and solutions that help them. Books can take you through someoneís entire life or just into one day. They can keep you on edge of your seat, or help you make an important decision. Writing is not for everyone but reading is. Even writers need to read everything they can to expand their interests, help them achieve new levels of understanding, and assist them into tapping into lives they never understood before.
Writing is a blessing and a curse. We can help others grow and relate. Through what we write we can give them knowledge, information, inspiration and insight. However, writing can cause you sleepless nights and daytime nightmares. You worry about your finished product and you languish over getting it to its final stages. There are rewrites, and there are rewrites that rewrite over rewrites. Your mind is racing through possibilities and circumstances. People fascinate you, nature intrigues you, and everything around you is alive and vivid. Wherever you go, you see stories, and your thoughts take you million of miles away, or sometimes just down road.
Being John DocReaderWritten by Michael Knowles
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**************************************************************** Being John BookReader by Michael Knowles
When was last time that you chose to stand in shoes of your reader. If you never use your imagination to put you there, how do you know that you're writing for right audience?
Answer: You don't.
The only difference between a bad writer and a good one (beyond issues of basic mechanics) is that good writer always keeps an image of a single, specific reader in her mind. The writer develops this image and focuses on it in all stages of a writing project. I believe that ability to write for a specific reader is a practice that makes great technical writing possible.
It is our divining rod.
I happened across a document this week that purported to be a quick-start guide for a piece of lifesaving medical equipment. This guide was 59 pages long. And actual operating instructions for this reasonably simple unit began on page 22.
Folks, that is not a quick-start guide.
Now, I do not for one minute believe that writers of this particular document lacked writing skills. They didn't. Nor do I believe that they lacked an audience analysis; I'm sure they did one. What they did lack was image of an audience member -- image of a specific person. The veil lifts when we do that, and we see our work in a different light. We approach it differently.
Imagine clarity that would occur if, say, writers of IRS tax forms and instructions imagined themselves to be some specific person -- say, your Uncle Henry, an auto mechanic who dreads very thought of doing his tax return. The writers, if good writers they be, would create a far clearer set of instructions because they developed empathy for a single audience member. And Uncle Henry would likely not dread doing of his tax return quite so much because materials would be understandable.