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The lost art of writing

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The world is crammed full of arts, skills and talents. Society values some more highly than others, leading to certain forms of art being frequently overlooked.  One art form that often isn’t even considered as such is writing.

Writing seems to be disputed as an art in all but name. Degrees that include academic and creative writing are labelled ‘the arts,’ yet writing is often not considered as valuable as other forms of expression or creativity.

Writing is often not considered as valuable as other forms of expression or creativity

Everybody writes; it’s something most people do every day. Scribbling words on a page to communicate something can take moments.

So why are some of us getting ourselves into thousands of pounds of debt just to improve our writing? And getting overly excited about other people’s?

Art is the expression of a skill, but with a pint of creativity

Too many times I have heard that writing a book, an essay, or a meaningful work of art, is ‘easy.’ Or a skill ‘everyone has.’ But is writing a skill or an art? A skill is the ability to do something. Art is the expression of a skill, but with a pint of creativity. They need each other. And they are both. To be a good writer, you need to be an artist. Whether creative or academic, you create worlds where people enter with one idea, and leave with two or three.

But what is so powerful about words? Why do people obsess over Lord of the Rings and Oscar Wilde? Or disown you for not having read The Catcher in the Rye? Over the centuries – and even today – the punishments across the world for producing, owning or distributing literature have included fines, imprisonment, and even death.

To write is to create something that has the potential to transform a person, a society, a nation

Control of the printing press has become a power struggle. Books, plays, poems, news articles, and film scripts have been burned, banned and modified.

Texts have caused revolutionary change. This is because to write is to create something that has the potential to transform a person, a society, a nation.

Words have the ability to inspire vision and drive

Words have the ability to inspire vision and drive. If someone walks away different, something has, and will, change. Words can cause us to dream and push ourselves, broaden our horizons and shatter our illusions. They can make us feel human, or make us feel alien to ourselves.

It is a form of communication that has force, but also vulnerability. But words can only do these things when written and crafted well.

The ability to write, and to write powerfully, is not something that should be devalued or underestimated. Words are one of the most powerful forces available to us. And to use them well is a form of art that should be honoured and celebrated.

 

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