What makes one a writer?
Have you ever wondered what it is that a writer does that defines them as a writer? I have. I'm a carpenter, or should I rather say, I do woodwork to earn a living, but does that make me a carpenter? working with wood is just something I do, it doesn't come to me easily, it just comes. Writing on the other hand doesn't come to me in the same way carpentry does, I understand woodwork in my inner being, Writing I need to think about, I need to think about how to get an image across through the use of words, as opposed to something tangible like a sculpture or a photograph. I've heard it said that a picture can paint a thousand words, this may be true but it has been my experience that words paint thousands of different pictures. Let me give you an example. Here's a simple sentence, what do you see when you read these words?
"She sat on the bench looking at the letter in her hand, head bowed, shoulders shaking and tears running down her cheeks."
See what I mean. What does she look like? Is she old, is she wearing a coat? Let me flesh it out a little.
"Those who hurried past had no idea that the young girl, wearing the simple summer frock, had just read the funniest description of an elephant she had ever seen."
See how the picture changes?
So my question remains, "What makes a writer?" How does a good writer flesh out their writing to paint pictures for their readers? I'm not talking about telling a story, that's a different subject all together. Stories have themes and beginnings, content and endings, usually told with the intent of fostering an awareness of a particular moral or to give hope to the reader who may be struggling with finding an antidote to the emptiness of daily existence. I'm talking about the picture each and every sentence convey's.
I'm a carpenter, I'm also good with words. Does that make me a writer too.
Let me know what you feel makes for good writing skills. Yes, I know this is a subject that has been raging for centuries and has been addressed by some of the best literary minds of all time, but I would be interested to know what you think.
Thomas had recently returned from a wintry Paris where he had gone to give a lecture about teaching English to African students. One evening he had been invited by his host to see a circus performances and had so enjoyed himself that he could hardly wait to tell her about it. He had written to Emily every day since his departure, not wanting her to feel left out while she waited patiently for his return.