Craftsmanship

Craftsmanship: (n) the skill possessed by a craftsman

 “Oh…are you still writing your little blogs?” she asked me, having obviously just taken a fresh batch of condescension out of her oven.

I simply replied, “Yes.”

It’s not what I wanted to say. funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

I yearned to tell her the number of people who were stopping off at my blogs, and even fudge the figures a little higher.

I wanted to point out the power of the written word.

I certainly had an impulse to make her feel smaller—that she was unable to do what I could do.

But I recently have realized that if you’re ashamed of what you’re doing or how small it is, then you’ve reduced your life to a trickle of envy.

I am not envious. Matter of fact, every day when I sit down and write to you, I think about two things:

1. I want to be content with my content.

I want to make sure I’m telling you things that will exhort your journey instead of further exhausting you.

2. I want to honor the craftsmanship that goes into forming a sentence, completing a paragraph and promoting an idea.

I don’t want to sit around and argue about my style or my syntax. Instead, I want to admit that my ideas can always be better presented, with tighter structure and fewer words. It is ironic that the greatest lesson a writer learns is to write less, and then edit even more.

What is the shortest distance between two points? Let me give you a clue. It isn’t a run-on sentence with lots of purple prose. It is finding a way to say it that is easy to comprehend, but still lights a candle in the brain.

It is craftsmanship.

It’s when I watch the plumber working on my toilet, and he’s in the middle of completing the project when he pauses, looks at it carefully, disappears, and then comes back from his truck with another piece. And then he turns to me and says, “It would have been fine with that bolt, but this is going to be much better.”

Goddamn it, if I don’t want to hug him.

So my dear friends, I continue to write my little blogs, and I do it in the pursuit of craftsmanship.

For at 10:42 P. M. every night, this pursuit grants me great peace of mind.

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Corinthians

Corinthians: (n) either of two books of the New Testament, I Corinthians or II Corinthians, written by Paul.

Whenever I talk to young—or just new—writers, I offer a single piece of advice. And it isn’t the classic comment normally passed along, which is, “Write what you know.”

Hell, I write a lot of things I don’t know about.

But you see, the key is—I just told you. I purposely shared that I don’t know anything about the subject; I am merely giving you my reaction.funny wisdom on words that begin with a C

What every writer needs to be is painfully honest—about both discovery and ignorance.

If a writer is bruised, he will post paragraphs filled with defensiveness.

If a writer is prideful, his scribblings will be speckled with condescension.

When Paul, the Apostle, who was originally Saul of Tarsus, sat down to write the Corinthians, he allowed himself to don more than one persona.

His feelings got hurt because the Corinthians found a preacher who they liked better than him, so he reminded them, in a very petty way, that he was the one that first brought the Gospel to them.

He tried to deal with a controversy of immoral proportions, which should only be handled on-site in the moment.

And he certainly was wounded and complained about their lack of financial assistance to his wandering mission.

Yes, the books of First and Second Corinthians are a study for any writer in comprehending that some mornings, when you get up on the wrong side of the bed, it’s better to roll back over.

And yet, in the midst of that—even with the upheaval he was feeling in his soul toward these people, he still managed to write one of the most beautiful passages of all time:

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels and have not love, I am sounding brass and tinkling cymbal.”

It’s referred to as “the love chapter”—the thirteenth of First Corinthians. It is brimming with humility, passion, wonder and, dare I say, precious honesty.

It is the reason we remember Paul in history as a great teacher of peace instead of a cranky, aging Jew who was having trouble making budget.

“Now abides faith, hope and love…” but as Paul said truthfully, “the greatest of these is love.”


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