Hemingway’s secret to great writing ? Use a pencil.
A single pencil is said to hold enough graphite to draw a line 35 miles long, or write 45,000 words. If that’s true, Ernest Hemingway could have written The Old Man And The Sea(27,000 words) in a single stroke—and for all we know, he did. “If you write with a pencil you get three different sights at it to see if the reader is getting what you want him to,” Hemingway wrote in a 1935 Esquire article, “First when you read it over; then when it is typed you get another chance to improve it, and again in the proof. Writing it first in pencil gives you one-third more chance to improve it. That is .333 which is a damned good average for a hitter.” http://www.rd.com/culture/pencils-history/
Dear Future Hemingways,
I once took a writing class where the teacher told us to write about WHATEVER WE WANTED, it had to be one page long, and no other instruction was given. Wow. Whhhaaaaa? Where do I begin with this type of assignment? I then recalled another course I took that introduced the book, The Dot. In this amazing little nugget of inspiration, a student claims she has absolutely no, ability, no ideas, no nuthin’- when it comes to her talent (this happened to be her art class). The student gives up before she even begins. Her first and only mark on her paper for a good 8 minutes was a simple, dark, dot. She then used that dot as her starting point. And, boy, did she turn that dot into something wonderful. Where will YOUR dot lead you, today?
Again, your pencils should ALREADY have been sharpened, people. Ugh. I dislike the pencil sharpener. A lot. So much so that it wouldn’t be beyond me to snap that dang thing right off that sheet rock of a wall and violently fling it to the ground out back on the corroding, concrete-like playground entry way at 7: 13 a.m., daringly close to a janitor’s office (do not, I repeat, do not mess with a janitor- that’s for another entry). And then plant it back in the classroom as if I never even touched it. Sorry, folks, looks like no pencil sharpener today. Borrow a pencil. Or pen. Or highlighter. Or crayon, come on people,use your brain power. FIND SOMETHING TO WRITE WITH (at this point i just should have left that offensive piece of metal alone). Ugh.