Writing Is Harder Than It Seems
by Robbie Hyman |
Here’s a great story from economist and author Thomas Sowell.
A tourist walking the boardwalk of a famous city spots a caricaturist. He approaches the artist, asks for a drawing of himself, and sits down while the man begins to sketch rapidly on his pad. Just four minutes later, the artist presents the tourist with a brilliant caricature. He’s pleased.
“What do I owe you?” the tourist asks.
“Thirty dollars,” the artist says.
“Thirty dollars?” asks the tourist. “You’re kidding, right? That took you four minutes!”
“No,” says the artist. “It took me 20 years and four minutes.”
Writing is similar. We all have computers and word-processing software. And, in a literal sense, we all know how to write—we know spelling, grammar, punctuation, layout, structure and tone. Because of this, I think, many non-writers believe writing should be easy—and they get frustrated and discouraged when it turns out not to be.
So, why did I tell you this story? Don’t be so hard on yourself. Writing is damn hard work. And almost nobody—least of all a professional writer—is ever satisfied with what they’ve written.
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