Monday, February 22, 2010

Too Much Knowledge?

Psalm 45: 1 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.

Can one ever read too much?

Boy I really had my mind going last night. I wanted to know if one can ever read too much and I didn’t get surprising answers.

I expected to hear, “One can never read too much.” Just so you know, I wasn’t referring to fiction, writer’s. I was referring to the books on the craft of writing. I personally don’t think you can ever read too much, in the way of fiction but really, you can over educate yourself to the point of blank pages that are in front of you waiting to be written on.

What does one Writing book have that is different than the other 500 hundred that are out there? If you have your hands on one, and it clicks in your brain. You move onto writing and utilizing what you’ve learned.

You read ten, fifteen books on the craft and your mind begins jumbling all the knowledge like a juggler in the circus. All the ideas are up in the air, one lands solidly in your hand, then *whoof* it goes back up in the air and you wind up never really grasping the idea you began with.

Maybe some people like to read and read and finally write, but then it doesn’t come out so well and they wonder what all that reading was for if they’re not gaining any insight to the craft and artistry of writing.

I think I’ve said this before, writing is not a learned craft. You can not educate yourself to the point that you become a wonderful writer. Writers are born with the intuitive craft inside them. They learn grammar in school, learn all the prepositions and adverbs, then they write little ditties for the school assignment. It is at this point you will either feel something naturally, or you won’t.

You’ll continue to try and please the teacher with words and with every, “Great job,” you’ll believe your the master writer God had intended you to be. But now keep in mind, it is your teachers job to tell you that you did great work, it is your parents heartfelt duty to resound the trumpet and pump you up in esteem. It isn’t the writers job to tell you that, “You’re an awesome writer!” It is, hopefully, their job to help you along in your writing and when they see something not quite right, they gently point it out to you. By all means, when they see something right, they point out that too because it worked for them.

A keen eye keeps the writer writing and growing. An overly educated writer keeps his/her head in the books and never really writes. A writer knows the balance. In life and in writing, we need to know the balance between reading, writing, learning and educating. Don’t over do it or you’ll lose sight of who you are, and that is, a WRITER!


Doreen McGettigan said...

Thank you, I needed to read that today..research and fact checking is taking over my life..need to just get back to the chapters..then again just yesterday afternoon my 7 year old grand daughter told me she wanted to become a vet and open an office with her cousin..I told her she needed to do really well in school and get very smart to make it into vet school..she asked how do I get very smart and I told her to read everything and read all the time...

joni said...

Hi Doreen and welcome to my blog,

Sometimes we can get so lost in our research and making ourselves smarter we lose sight of why we loved writing in the first place.

Get it all out, then in revision you can do the fact finding research., or else, you'll get swept away and your story will be lost.

Now a seven year old...they need to read their little hearts out! That's an order! :-)


Stormcrow said...

Knowledge is power. Just ask Schoolhouse Rocky.