I couldn't think of a topic more fitting than 'Writing' for my very first blog on my author website. Here is my take:
Writing is difficult because it is at the mercy of the largest number of amateurs. Most people wouldn’t argue with a painter about colour and composition, or with a musician about sound and form. But with writing, everyone has an opinion, everyone is a genius, everyone is a writer. The job of a writer is therefore twofold.
First, you must disarm a horde of amateurs, armed to the teeth with ill-informed convictions about what’s right or wrong, correct or incorrect, and acceptable or unacceptable. Only once the weapons are down and the armour if off can you get your story through. Your second job is then to tell your story in a non-threatening way, in a way that doesn’t make the reader want to pick up their weapons and put on their armour. The only way to achieve the complete surrender of the reader is to make your language ‘invisible’.
Because the reader’s battle is with language not your story, you must tell your story in a way that hides the language such that the reader only interacts with the story.
The true mark of a good writer is the ability to hide language – to paint vivid pictures, evoke emotions, and seduce the senses without it being about words and how they are chosen and organised.
A master writer convinces even the most exacting amateur that what they are reading is not about language but simply about the story and the message. Ultimately, anyone can argue about language, grammar, form, and construction – they belong to the commons. But your story and your message are uniquely yours.