06 September 2006

writing guru

one of my colleagues is without doubt the best writer--and editor--that i know. today, i read some of his work after a hiatus of two months. again, i was struck not only by his clarity and style, but also by his creativity. this latter is perhaps the quality i most envy. to be able to say the same thing for the umpteenth time in a different and unique way is definitely not easy. in fact, this is the one thing that particularly frustrated me several months ago; i was sick of repeating the same phrases, playing with the same expressions. when these are made up of 'extrajudicial killings',' official impunity',' lack of effective remedies' and the like, the frustration is not merely stylistic. inspirational writing like his is therefore greatly welcomed.

three years ago, when i first met him and was in awe, i told myself that he had ten years more experience than myself. i hoped that i too would reach that point after a certain amount of experience. now, i am not so sure. sure, writing (and the critical process associated with it) is a skill. it is also a talent. skills can be learnt, but talent cannot.

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