I am approaching the heart of this book with two theses, both simple. The first is that good writing consists of mastering the fundamentals vocabulary, grammar, the elements of style) and then filling the third level of your toolbox with the right instruments. The second is that while it is impossible to make a competent writer out of a bad writer, and while it is equally impossible to make a great writer out of a good one, it is possible, with lots of hard work, dedication, and timely help, to make a good writer out of a merely competent one.
After reading this, I let out a huge “pheeeeew”. Because very often when you scroll through different blogs and websites selling the top 10 or top 5 or 3 best tips on how to become a writer, they either are so simplistic that you think :”nah, not gonna be very helpful or realistic” or you’ll be so devastated because they’ll be stating that you will only be able to ever put a satisfying piece of writing into this world if you follow all the trends of attending writer’s retreats, writing workshops, conferences, and whatever other stuff I’ve heard about but definitely will never do.
I’ve achieved a lot of the important things in my life, both on professional and private level, because I simply stuck with it, closed my eyes and told myself “Let’s do this!” I didn’t look back, I cursed myself for accepting every new and scary challenge, but in the end of the day, I always managed. I wasn’t always brilliant. But I survived, I managed, and I didn’t do exactly that bad. And that always at my first try. Be it for a specific piece of writing, a speech, a course programme, lots of things I never thought I would be able to do. Hell, I never thought I’d be able to put a child into this world, and look at me, I even had two of them! And I do remember the one thought that stayed in my mind for some months after giving birth to my first child (a very unromantic and scary event I might add – we didn’t really count on ever wanting to try doing that again) : “Hey, you don’t scare me, I put a kid in this world! Who the hell do you think you are? Try it and come back once you’re done!” Ok, so this was quite often destined to male co-workers whose egos would very often be overbearing, so much that I needed this personal cheering on from time to time to face them.
Anyway, nothing in life comes easy, apart from if you’re a super intelligent specimen from birth or Wonder woman. I’m not. But I’m trying my best to get as close as possible, with constant work, evaluation of the things I’ve achieved or created, and then, if necessary, do it all over again until it works.