Tuesday, March 4, 2008

195. On Professionalism

I recently wrote a blog post over at DAY IN COURT. I've been feeling the burn of sublimated anger at many of the letters to editors in our local newspapers lately. Accusations tossed about based on prejudice and personal bias, opinions designed to push racial and ethnic tensions higher, and advice that glosses over one's own counter-actions all have me wanting to caution readers --don't believe everything you read in the newspapers. Consider the source. Ask where's the verification.

I made a quiet reference to professionalism, and noted how it adds credibility and clarity. Without it, you have a lot of haze, and perhaps just smoke and mirrors.

And then I came across this guest lecture by the noted scriptwriter John August. It encouraged the Trinity students (and now offers the message to everyone who reads it) to be professional, not amateur, to be "aspiring," not irresponsible, writers.

It's amusing and insightful, and also filled with motherly advice. As I've said to my own daughter each time she writes another school composition, essay, short story, "Do your best, hon. Always do your best." Only now I can quote someone else, someone with more cachet, someone worth heeding.

So we can both be better writers--truly professional.

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