I have advice for people who want to write. I don’t care whether they’re 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair. And second, you need to read. You can’t be a writer if you’re not a reader. It’s the great writers who teach us how to write. The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it’s for only half an hour — write, write, write.
As every writer knows… there is something mysterious about the writer’s ability, on any given day, to write. When the juices are flowing, or the writer is ‘hot’, an invisible wall seems to fall away, and the writer moves easily and surely from one kind of reality to another… Every writer has experienced at least moments of this strange, magical state. Reading student fiction one can spot at once where the power turns on and where it turns off, where the writer writes from ‘inspiration’ or deep, flowing vision, and where he had to struggle along on mere intellect.
If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.
Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.
I am telling you what I know — words have music and if you are a musician you will write to hear them.
Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say.
The lack of distinction between the two phrases, that begs the question and that raises the question, is mind numbing. I say mind numbing because it has become so pervasive over the last decade it makes me realize that the general “educated” population lacks an ability to 1) understand the distinction and 2) to reason or think properly.
The phrase, “That begs the question,” is one that indicates a fallacy in reasoning. The fallacy of petitio principii, or “begging the question”, is committed “when a proposition which requires proof is assumed without proof”, or more generally denotes when an assumption is used, “in some form of the very proposition to be proved, as a premise from which to deduce it”. Thus, insofar as petitio principii refers to arguing for a conclusion that has already been assumed in the premise, this fallacy consists of “begging” the listener to accept the “question” (proposition) before the labor of logic is undertaken. The fallacy may be committed in various ways. (definition via Wikipedia w/ cited references)
The phrase, “That raises the question,” is a phrase that should be used when something(s) lead(s) to a needed conclusion (a literal question). For example, she never says hello to me any more which raises the question, does she still like me?
These two phrases have entirely different meanings and usages. Yet, I see writers, journalists, newscasters, editors, and every day people use them improperly. I can only surmise that this is done out of pure ignorance or just plain laziness. Logic and reason stand to lose the most if this misconception continues.
[He now steps off his soapbox and walks away]