Each week, Evan Peterson rounds up stories from across the Web that scribes of all stripes should check out. Are we called to write, or do we do it because it’s the thing we’re best at? Plus, the advertising/editorial wall is crumbling, and why we already know how to measure the quality of a speech.
A calling or a job?: The New York Times has a pretty good weekly installment called Bookends, in which two writers take opposing views on a question about writing. This week: Is writing a calling or a job? In defense of “calling,” Benjamin Moser writes that you identify as a writer by knowing, and caring about, the struggle:
It is good that no beginner suspects how torturous writing is, or how little it improves with practice, or how the real rejections come not from editors but from our own awareness of the gap yawning between measly talent and lofty vocation. Fear of that gap destroys writers: through the failure of purpose called writer’s block; through the crutches we use to carry us past it.