National Day on Writing

‘Call me Ishmael,’ by Herman Melville, Moby Dick (1851).

‘In the late summer of that year, we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains.’ by Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms (1929).

‘He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.’ by Raphael Sabatini, Scaramouche (1921).

The above quotes are the opening lines to three of the greatest novels in history. Are they simple, unassuming, or even quaint? Perhaps, but each of them served a distinct purpose, to draw the reader in, and thereby immersing them in a world of wonder. How often are you faced with a professional challenge and need to garner attention quickly? It certainly seems like a necessary skill to possess. Is there something in these masterworks that could lend one an edge over the competition today? I invite you to read on and find out.

Trust me; I understand writing can seem daunting; after all, it has always been homework and assignments, right? All those papers in college seemed to stack up, and with deadlines that evaporated quicker than morning mist in the noonday sun. And those five-paragraph essays in school, every single one following the same formula:

  1. Tell me what you are going to tell me.
  2. Tell me, tell me, tell me.
  3. Tell me what you told me.

Hey, do not discount the above cadence; it is still a widely utilized practice, only these days they call it blogging. In all honesty, writing is just relevant as it has ever been, perhaps even more so. With all the noise of social media, blaring advertisements shouting raves of products, and annoying video pop-up ads ruining a good online gossip article, something has to cut through the noise. Nothing does that better than a good story and an honest-to-goodness tale that resonates with readers and inspires them to dig deeper to understand and not just consume content. Want to stand out to your boss? Offer up an office memorandum on the effects of teamwork in a virtual environment or another topic that would be relevant and extremely helpful in the current uncertain workspace. You can even use the model above and then publish it as a blog. Imagine the possibilities.

As luck would have it, today, 20 October, is the National Day on Writing. Although I doubt any of us will be the next Melville, Hemingway, or Sabatini, we can still express ourselves through the written word and maybe even enjoy it. Now, faithful reader, go forth with quill, ink, and parchment to conquer your fear and write the first thing that comes to mind. Who knows, it could be the start of the next great American novel.

#engage #educate #influence