Friday, March 20, 2015

Use what is useful to you. Don't worry about others.

Throughout my college years and beyond, professors, teaching assistants, writers, and bloggers have recommended The Elements of Style by Strunk & White for better writing.

But I have never finished this classic. The book never grabbed my attention. Most importantly, I was never inspired to apply the writing principles.

Then I found Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark. I was instantly inspired. I manage to apply Clark's writing strategies often because I like Clark's writing and I remember his advice. I am inspired even by the texture of the book's cover.

My point is not that Writing Tools is better than The Elements of Style. My point is that Writing Tools is far more useful and superior for me and surely others. We have to search for what works for us. And when we find something that we like, that we find useful, and that inspires us, we must find the courage to hold onto it and use it for our benefit.

Find what works for you. Don't worry about what others are doing. Remember, though, that we need to put in the effort to find the tools that will guide us in writing and life. We should keep an open mind and try new things.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A career: something admirable or something else?

"Only those who decline to scramble up the career ladder are interesting as human beings. Nothing is more boring than a man with a career." - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
But also consider:
"A decent man is not responsible for the vice or absurdity of his profession; and he ought not on that account refuse to pursue it; [. . .]there is money to be got by it, a man must live in the world and make the best of it, such as it is." - Michel de Montaigne