Writing is….

There are two phrases up for debate this evening. “Good writing is Good writing,” and “writing is thinking.”

First, is “good writing good writing” no matter what form it’s in?

I think so. Good writing is writing that you can form a connection with. It’s words, carefully selected and strung together in such a way that you have to catch your breath when you’re finished. Good writing is the ultimate art form. Where painting shows you an image, and sculpture shows you a likeness, writing can take you to another place or time. It transports you, showing you both the image and the likeness. Whether it’s good poetry, good journalism or good fiction, good writing teaches, it holds the potential to change. It creates in your mind something that wasn’t there before.

So, is writing thinking then? Good writing certainly has the potential to make you think; and writing well requires thinking. Lauren Kessler, in the latest edition of Writer’s Digest, says writing is thinking – according to her the “hard part” of writing, the actual work, is thinking. The research is the easy part “the hard part [is] the hours, days, weeks and months of searching for and finding the right words to tell the story[…] the hard part [is] being still, looking out the window.”

But is that reason enough to say writing is thinking? Thinking is definitely a major component of writing. Without it, writing would be meaningless. Kessler also writes “writing is thinking made manifest.” In that instance I agree, writing is thinking – but thinking is not writing. It isn’t an A = B equation; and I think we need to keep that forefront in our minds as writers. Every thought we have is not fit for the page; before it can be put down in ink it should be thought through, squeezed, wrung out like a wet towel until no more drops come out of it. Only when we have examined our own thoughts from every angle can we create good writing – writing that transports you; writing that changes you; writing that connects.

Explore posts in the same categories: Writing for the Media

4 Comments on “Writing is….”

  1. spazialis Says:

    I think I should write “I like it”

    I write… “I think I like it”

  2. Great post! Thanks for this, It really got me thinking more about my own writing and why it is we write. I love the bit about writing transporting us, very well put:)


  3. pattieischen Says:

    All writing should tell a story, don’t you think? It has a beginning, a middle and an end. Thanks for your thoughts aka writing on writing.

  4. rosyo Says:

    I write because I think.

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