Identity and Voice

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Title: ‘If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.’ (King, 2000: 145) To what extent do you agree with this statement?

Good writers are able to express complex ideas with style, clarity, and accuracy. When they articulate ideas which we ourselves, as writers, have struggled with, they gain our appreciation, respect, and even admiration. We often wonder how and whether they can teach us how to do it. Many writers have tried to teach the principles of good writing and have even explained their methods, but this merely cannot teach their students how to write, or else by now we would all be excellent writers.

Most teachers of writing, and all good writers, agree that there are two things that cannot avoided in learning to write well: reading and writing. I completely agree with King’s statement. ‘If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot. There’s no way around these two things that I’m aware of, no shortcut.’ (King, 2000: 145) One must do each of these things, enthusiastically and prolifically. Reading a lot is necessary to learn the principles of good writing, but the knowledge of these principles is not sufficient to make one a good writer. One must also write a lot in order to provide feedback for editing, where these principles are applied to one’s own writing. After gaining the ability to to write well, one must do it enough to make it a habit.

Stephen King believes that a good writer must be able to “…read and write 4-6 hours a day. If you cannot find the time for that, you can 't expect to become a good writer.” (King, 2000:178). Although 4-6 hours is the minimum recommended by King, it is certainly not the maximum. Such a maximum or cap simply does not exist. The brain learns to write largely by osmosis and the more sentences you expose it to, the more it will learn.



Bibliography: KING, S. (2000). On writing: A memoir of the craft. New York: Scribner. LEONARD, E., & CIARDIELLO, J. (2010). Elmore Leonard 's 10 rules of writing. London, Weidenfeld & Nicolson. PACK, R., & PARINI, J. (1991). Writers on writing. Hanover, Middlebury College Press, University Press of New England. TOLLE, E. (1999). The power of now: a guide to spiritual enlightenment. Novato, Calif, New World Library.

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