Thursday, May 14, 2009

Typing is a Thing of the Past

Can you imagine trying to write a novel with one of these? Then again, with the predictive sentence technology, type the first letter and all you have to do is find the novel already written.

And here's the kind of treatment you can expect if you ever sell so many books that people like Michael Hyatt think you're important.

The Mantle of the Author

Following the Presidential election of 2000 there were what seemed like endless recounts in the State of Florida as the United States tried to figure out who really had won the election. With both eventual President George W. Bush and then Vice-president Al Gore claiming victory, the news media had nothing better to do than sit around discussing how the nation would accept the man who took office. I remember someone saying that once that man put on the mantle of the presidency people would accept him because appeared presidential.

There is a similar principle in writing that we might call the writer’s mantle. Every reader begins with expectations. Suppose a reader believes a writer is humorous, he laughs when the dog dies at the first of the book. He rolls in the floor when the mother dies. He is sixty pages into the book when he realizes it is a serious book. One reader opens a book, expecting it to be good and it is. Another reader opens the same book, expecting it to be bad, and it is. This concept is a big part of why our mothers all believe we are great writers. But a writer can overcome expectations.

Some time ago, I bought a book on Michael Hyatt’s recommendation. I eagerly opened the book. As I read, I kept noticing these profound statements and began to write them down. I was excited because I figured they would give me something to blog about by applying the concept to writing. Near the middle of the book, I began to realize that there wasn’t a practical application to some of the concepts I had recorded and I scratched them off the list. The list grew shorter and shorter. By the end of the book, I concluded that the author hadn’t said anything worthwhile.

If a reader perceives an author to be good, then he is more likely to give the writer the benefit of the doubt, even overlooking bad writing. If a reader perceives an author to be unskilled, his more likely to be critical of everything, even instances of good writing.