On writing

Read what Rear Admiral Bradley A. Fiske had to say about the Naval Institute in Proceedings, Vol. 45 No. 192, February 1919:

One of the factors which has handicapped the Naval Institute has been a curious shyness about writing articles for it. This shyness existed much more in the past than it does now; but it still exists to a degree that is really lamentable. Scores of times I have said to some officer who had made some suggestion, or described some instructive experience, “You ought to send that to the Institute,” and he has answered, “But I can’t write.” Now, any man who can think can write. Writing is merely recording. If a man has anything to record, writing can record it.

The so-called faculty of writing is not so much a faculty of writing as it is a faculty of thinking. When a man says, “I have an idea but I can’t express it”; that man hasn’t an idea but merely a vague feeling. If a man has a feeling of that kind, and will sit down for a half an hour and persistently try to put into writing what he feels, the probabilities are at least 90 percent that he will either be able to record it, or else realize that he has no idea at all. In either case, he will do himself a benefit.

Yes Sir!

I read this and thought it the most succinct and perceptive comment on procrastination in writing  I’ve ever read. Now to see if I can take it to heart.

If you aren’t familar with “Proceedings” go to the library and check it out. I believe that the concept of living history interviews started with this magazine.

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About On the North River

Forty years toiled in the Tel-com industry, married for 36 years widowed at sixty-one. New girlfriend at sixty-five. Tea Party supporter. Today a follower of the God-Emperor Donald. Do like to kayak, cook, take photos, bike, watch old movies and read.
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