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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Writer’s Skill/Craft (04/22/10)

TITLE: The Common Goal in all Skills
By
04/29/10


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The Common Goal in all Skills

A skill is honed over time. A skill is an act or type of work one can improve with time. A skill is using one’s knowledge in execution or performance. When one writes they are using a skill that reflects their imagination and thoughts. Writing is an interpretation of facts, thoughts, and events. Writing is a powerful skill that reaches many people.

Writing has similarities as well as differences compared to other skills. Writing is an activity that can be improved with time. Other skills such as public speaking, piano playing, wood carving, and stone masonry can also be learned and improved over time. How one performs a skill depends on the performance of the individual. If a person practices very hard and thoroughly learns their skill they might do very well. Writing is a skill that can be learned throughout a life time. It is a skill that can be worked on continuously whether in elementary school or as a retired grandparent. Other skills require the same commitment, but are not pursued throughout a lifetime such as basketball or stone masonry. Once a basketball player’s age reaches their mid thirties their bodies are too old to compete effectively on the court. A stone mason is not employable beyond a certain age.

Learning a skill can be similar to writing as well as different. For a basketball player, the player learns by working with a coach, other team players, and practicing making shots alone. Learning skills as a basketball player can be similar to learning skills as a writer. A writer needs other writers (team) to give feedback as to written work. A writer needs a teacher (coach) to help expand knowledge and cement key components of writing such as writing for different genres. A writer also needs isolation and individual study to master grammar and sentence structure.

Whether one is a football player, a public speaker, or a writer, all skills share a common goal. That goal is excellence. Every skill requires a person to learn and grow in a particular area. Trying to reach a level of excellence requires a great deal of effort, perseverance, and dedication. The act of trying to reach a level of excellence is appreciated by everyone because everyone recognizes the effort to become excellent.

The act of attaining excellence is rewarded by society. No one goes to a basketball game to see some unfit guys miss a bunch of baskets. No, they go to see super stars make 3 point shots and fast- paced action. Basketball players that make it into the NBA are rewarded with multi-million dollar salaries. Writers who write very well get paid royalties on their books and make a lot of money. Famous writers such as Ernest Hemmingway, Tom Clancy, and Stephen King have made a great deal of money writing popular stories. However, some people who write very well don’t make much money. People who write text books for schools may write extremely well but aren’t rewarded monetarily. However, everyone benefits by having excellent textbooks to learn our subjects throughout school.

Obtaining a level of excellence helps everyone. If one excels in their profession such as an accountant then they can help businesses keep their books straight. If a scientist excels in motion control they can help with using wind as a renewable energy source. For our society to grow people need to excel in their profession. By excelling in our skills we enhance our lives with new technology, new medicines, and new ways to help make the world safe. We learn new ways of doing things making our lives more productive and enhance our standard of living.

Writing as well as trying to obtain excellence is generic to all aspects of life. We are forced to read manuals, restaurant menus, or prescriptions for our everyday survival. Yet, writers such as Thomas Paine, who wrote “Common Sense” enflamed the hearts of men to help create the American Revolution. Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote “The Gulag Archipelago” shedding light on an internal nightmare of Russian society. A writer has the capability to enlighten a whole nation or the whole world through their efforts and insight. By using thought and imagination, trying to attain a level of excellence, a writer, as well as other people honing their skills can transform the world and help guide mankind to a better future.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Maria Egilsson 04/29/10
I have some suggestions:

1. Skill was overused as a word

2. Maybe using point form/list may have eliminated some of the "wordiness".

I'm a "newbie" so this may not be a good suggestion. However, as a reader, it would have helped me keep focused on the comparisons.

It was very good.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/29/10
You really say quite a bit in the limited word count. I can tell you believe what you are saying. It's nice to see that it comes from your heart.

I did get a bit distracted by the overuse of the word skill. A general rule is try not to use the same word more than 2 or 3 times in the span of a page or two. Here are a few examples you could have used instead- craft, talent, ability,artistry, trade, knack, competence,and adroitness just to name a few.

However, don't let that discourage you. It was a well-written essay that brought your reader into your thoughts. Keep up the good work!
Yvonne Blake 04/30/10
Yes, writing takes practice. The more we writer, the better it becomes. Keep writing!
Jan Ackerson 05/03/10
You make very valid points here!

I just found it a bit dry--not sure what would liven it up. Maybe some personal anecdotes, or some humor?

I'd love to have to stop by the forums (link at the top of this page) and visit my "Writing Basics" class for beginners and intermediates. Your contributions would be very valuable.

The thought put into your entry is very apparent, and it's well-organized and presented.