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Writers Write. It’s Not Always Much, But It’s What We Do

July 14, 2020

I’m not sure if I felt like he was insulting my experience. Was I feeling he was disrespecting my position?

I don’t know.

The conversation was between my lovely wife, one of my adult children and myself. I’d written a response to an agreement that we’d entered into. My remarks were blunt without being bullying. Clear, but not overly accusatory.

My child didn’t agree. And the response took an interesting turn.

This is clearly emotional and biased!

Well, I’ll agree it’s based on my own bias, but it’s not emotional.

OH YES IT IS! If you were to show this to any English teacher. . .

You realize that was written by a professional writer, right?

Later my lovely wife suggested my response was not helpful. It was more tit-for-tat and seemed to come from a defensiveness on my part. I’ve been thinking about that for the last few days, trying to decide if she’s right.

The argument my child was making is called an Appeal To Authority logic fallacy. The idea that “an expert” would agree with them. My issue with the argument is that I really am an expert.

That sounds arrogant. I think it sounds arrogant, and I’m supposed to be the great writer.

As a famous conservative commentator likes to say,

Facts don’t care about your feelings.

But, that doesn’t mean all statement of facts are created equal. For example, never play chess for money against an Englishman who claims he “plays a bit.” It’s fact, but not like saying, “I achieved the rank of grand master when I was 21.”

Writers write. It’s what we do. Maybe it’s a blogger. Maybe it’s a New York Times bestselling author. Maybe it’s a guy writing the “great American Novel” in his bedroom. Writing is the easiest hobby there is. And one of the loneliest.

If you get paid to write you are a professional writer. You might be a songwriter. You might get paid to write greeting cards. You might get paid to write novels.

Not everyone who is paid to write is a good writer. Some are terrible. Some are great. Most are just working people, churning out their words.

I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words in my career, probably over a couple million. Some technical books. Hundreds of pages of Microsoft courseware. And these scribblings here for the past several years.

When I wrote the note to my child, I used the skills I’ve learned and developed over the decades. I wrote for clarity. I considered that it would be my child reading it. I love my child. I didn’t want to be overly harsh. I also considered that this would be upsetting news for my child.

Was my note written by a professional writer?

If not, I’m not sure who else we can blame for it.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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