I have read back through the blogs that I have written and I realise, with some alarm, but not surprise, that I am not as good at writing as I thought I was. I enjoy it, and for the most part I don’t inflict it on anyone else. The difficulty I suppose is that my brain gets in the way of most of what I write and it comes across as rather pompous or wordy. Turning to my great inspiration Mr. Hemingway I note that I break several of his rules.
I don’t write in pencil. I grew up in the age of computers with a dad that liked the idea of technological advancement. I learned to write on a PC. It was a 386 with a yellow monochrome screen. The purpose of writing in pencil is so that you can transcribe it, and in doing so you might edit it. I type out my sentences and immediately start picking at them before they have even had a chance to form anything coherent. I chatted to an author the other day and he told me that he had written 4000 of his early draft words on his phone. He also admitted that the process of converting 10,000 words into something usable often means that over half of the words are edited out during the process.
Short sentences. I try to put a number of thoughts into a single sentence and my punctuation is suspect. My wife pointed out to me that I speak the same way. Polite society does not need another verbose windbag.
Analogies. I try to explain complicated theories that are batting around in head with simple comparisons. The problem is twofold. I usually try to make my analogous scenario fit into my theory and the analogy becomes more complex than the theory in the first place (sounded like it). I’m probably not that good at telling stories. It’s not that I don’t get there eventually, I just take a long time with all of the non essential detail.
I used to read back through what I had written and delete the blog post or saved file. I am able then, to keep lying to myself that I am a good writer. One day, given enough time to write, I will produce a masterpiece. It has occurred to me, watching my beloved Protea’s suffer humiliation at the hands of the Aussie “post-ashes” juggernaut, that life is a series of challenges and opportunities to learn. I will take the advice that I would give to Graham Smith tonight : Improve a small amount at a number of basic skills. Don’t give up. Believe in yourself.
So Graham, I won’t delete the nonsense I have written and use it instead to help me to improve my writing. You could do the same with the last three days of the test match and come out in the morning ready to do the impossible.
PS. Don’t let Warner get over 20….Please