Every time a word comes out of the white space, a battle is won.
Since 6th grade, I’ve been competing for journalism writing contests. When I was in college, I became the first editor-in-chief of our school’s newsletter. I never stopped writing even at work when I landed my first corporate job as an electronics engineer.
For me, writing has been my battle for 16 years now.
And if this is your battle, too, this article is for you.
I may not be the most talked-about writer in the blogosphere as of the moment. But in the course of my writing journey, I have learned how to fight the battle. Everything was made even more apparent to me when I learned about the classic piece called Art of War by Sun Tzu.
Sun Tzu is a Chinese military strategist. His book dating back to the 5th century BC, is Asia’s top military treatise. It deciphers tactics in the aspect of warfare. The book with 13 chapters can be read in under an hour for the average reader.
Being a writer is a tough job. We stitch words together out of thin air to convince, to inform, to entertain, to argue, or to tell a story. The Art of War, on the other hand, has enough chapters to turn any writer into the modern Ernest Hemingway of today’s generation.
The writer’s enemy
Without competition, the best writers will no longer create new pieces, and the worst writers will settle for mediocrity.
In this article, the word “enemy” is mentioned five times from the block quotes of each book’s chapter. Translating this to a writer’s jargon, the enemy could mean any of the following:
- Yourself — your thoughts, your habits, your disbelief, your confidence, your lack of knowledge. After all, a writer’s greatest enemy is himself. Stephen King rejected his own book idea, “Carrie” (which later became a 2013 box office hit). Thanks to his wife, who picked up the torn pieces from the trash and encouraged Stephen to finish the story.