Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Good Reading vs. Good Writing

I recently came across an interesting opinion piece by novelist Matt Haig called "30 Things to Tell a Book Snob" and it got me thinking about the value of art (again). Now, I don't agree with everything he writes, but I do agree with the sentiment and any reading is good reading. But does this translate to "any writing is good writing"?

You can argue all day long that art is subjective and that one person may love what another person thinks is rubbish, but you can't convince me that all writing is good writing. People are certainly entitled to their opinions and entitled to love bad writing, but that doesn't mean that the writing is brilliant. A novelist I know often laments how many people tell him, "I would write a novel - if only I had the time." As though every person in the world can be a writer. His feeling is that people never think to themselves, "I would compose a symphony - if only I had the time." We accept that composers know something about music, have probably studied it extensively and practiced for many years to hone their skills. I may love the song that my six-year-old neighbour just made up, it may be my favourite song but that doesn't mean that Beethoven wasn't better than her. No one would argue that my neighbour is giving the greats of music composition a run for the money based on my opinion. Most people in the world have the physical capacity to sing, but they're not all good singers. So why would we accept that everyone is a good writer, just because?

I know I'm not the only schmuck working this hard to produce "good" writing

Friday, 19 April 2013

Love that Dirty Water

Oh, Boston, you're my home.

As many of you know, I spent my very happy childhood in the City of Boston. So this week has been surreal. We say "surreal" but what does that mean? What is real? Surely explosions, highspeed car chases and my family being told not to leave their homes is very real. It certainly feels real. And also, very far away.
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