Monday, July 9, 2012

Are You an Apprentice?




“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”

Ernest Hemingway


Does this thought discourage you?

 I think it's interesting and sobering.

This man knew a little about writing.

Yet he saw the importance of getting better, 

knowing that we never arrive,

to quit and rest on our laurels. 

Not that we can't have success, and write great stuff. 

But there's something to be said for a writer who knows 

that improvement is the target.

What do you think?

What defines your target?

How do to hone your skills?


Taking the rest of the week off. See you July 16.

Have a great week!

Happy writing,

 Karen


Photo credit: Stock Exchange

35 comments :

  1. Love your choice of pictures, Karen, because my son apprenticed to become an ornamental blacksmith while in high school. It has been one of the ways he's earned a living.
    As for me, I was just sharing last evening with a girl at church that I wanted to take more creative writing classes. I don't think I will ever be able to say I've arrived, as a writer. So I think to apprentice would be to take classes and to study great work in the genre that I wish to specialize in.

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  2. I read as much as time will allow--all kinds of books. I also ask a lot of questions and am open to receiving all kinds of answers.

    Enjoy your time away.
    ~ Wendy

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  3. Wonderful poem.

    Have a great week off.

    Yvonne.

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  4. I think that quote is scary accurate. Enjoy your week!

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  5. Enjoy the time off. We all need a break now and then.

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  6. Enjoy the time off. We all need a break now and then.

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  7. If Hemingway said that, then he felt that way about himself. That said,then all of us are just apprentices. That's all right. We all have to recognize the fact that we can improve our skills.

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  8. This is so true! Writing does not have a defined point of expertise. You can keep getting better, I think. It's comforting to think that some amazing writers feel that way!

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  9. We never become masters, just better apprentices.

    Enjoy your time away.

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  10. Carol,
    Thank you! I thought it was fitting. I didn't realize that your son did that. That's really cool! I agree - keep learning! :)

    Wendy,
    That's what I do too, read, and then read some more. And questions, yes, they pop up all the time, don't they? :)

    Yvonne,
    Thank you. :) Hope you have a great week as well!

    Alex,
    That's a good way to put it! :) Enjoy the week!

    Stephen,
    Thank you! I think you're right. Have a good week.

    Cecelia,
    I think you're probably right. And it is all right. We're always getting better!

    Lydia,
    I know, I think that's true. It is comforting to me too!

    Diane,
    I love the way you put that. I may have to quote you! :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  11. Enjoy your week off Karen and blacksmithing is becoming sort of a lost art among the young folks today, but many Amish are making a fair living with this so this field is very much alive in the plain communities. Richard

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  12. What upsets me is when authors and editors criticize his work. The man was a master. Probably because he yearned to write better and better. I feel that way. I know I'll never be a Hemmingway, but my books will be something my great-grandchildren will be proud of. I hope.

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  13. My target is to complete my next writing project and know that I have done the best that I can. Writing is an ongoing journey. As we travel, we learn and improve our skills.

    Have a great week off, Karen!

    (BTW) I quoted Hemingway on my blog today, too. We must be thinking alike.

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  14. Enjoy your week off! I always thought of writing series romances as my apprenticeship and 15 yrs later I am still doing it.

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  15. Richard,
    Thanks so much! You are right, it is a lost art, but I am glad the Amish and other communities keep it up.

    Joylene,
    He was a great writer, and I admire one who knows that we can always get better. I think your ancestors will be proud of you. How could they not be? :)

    Jean,
    It is an ongoing journey! I like that - we travel and learn. Yes, I noticed your quote too. Great minds really do think alike! :)

    Annie,
    Yes, but I am sure you've grown! You are a wonderful writer, you know. Just saying. :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  16. Thanks for this post Karen. I truly enjoyed it and believe it is so :-) I thrive to aspire to become a better writer - it's the journey that keeps me going! x

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  17. Yes, I think the day you think you having nothing more to learn, you've lost it.

    Have a wonderful break!!

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  18. I read all the time; always have. That's been one of the greatest ways to hone my own craft and to know good and bad when I see it. Honestly, I'm such a voracious reader that I feel half dressed without a book! :)

    How to hone? I think just by doing it and doing it and doing it. That's how I'm 'doing it.'

    Have a wonderful break, Mizz K!

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  19. Diane,
    You are welcome. I like the way you said that, "thrive to aspire to become a better writer - it's the journey that keeps me going." That about sums it up for me too! :)

    Jennifer,
    Oh, I agree! We'll never arrive, but that's okay. We'll always be learning great stuff. :)

    Rhonda,
    And now you can tuck that book into your new purse! lol Yes, you are doing something right, the honing is evident in your writing!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  20. Nice picture accompanying this quote!

    I find Hemingway's words encouraging. It fortifies me to think that everyone has room for improvement because it reminds me that I'm not the only one struggling to get better.

    Enjoy the time off. See you when you return, my friend!

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  21. Enjoy your week Karen!
    Love this post, it encourages me to keep refining the craft of writing!

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  22. Janette,
    I think we're all in this boat together, you know? Or at least the serious writers we know. :) You have a good week too!

    Marja,
    Glad you are encouraged. I love this whole idea. :) Hope you have a good week too!

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  23. I think we can always improve. And if great writers feel that way, there's hope for me!

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  24. I'm constantly reading, writing, talking to other writers, and praying A LOT!

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  25. Theresa,
    I feel the same way! I think I was almost relieved when I first read this quote. :)

    Susan,
    Me too, and praying, of course, is a must. :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  26. Awesome quote. The concept is a bit daunting, but then I guess we'd get bored if we ever mastered something completely. :)

    Enjoy your break, Karen!

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  27. not the most encouraging quote, but definitely rings true. There's always so much to learn about writing, especially you love the craft:)
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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  28. Hemingway got it right with that quote. There is always room for improvement. All we have to do is keep writing and stay humble and open to improvement.

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  29. Sarah,
    I think you are right! :) Always room for improvement.

    Nutschell,
    You make a good point. If you love to write, learning is a good thing!

    Lynda,
    Staying humble - yes, no big heads here! Good to remember. :)

    Blessings,
    Karen

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  30. I have never heard this quote before, but I have to say this is really accurate! I think we're always in a state of learning and improving. there is always more to master!

    Hope you had a great birthday, Karen!

    Angela

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  31. Angela,
    I agree, there's always something to learn! Thanks, I had a good day! :)
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  32. Re: any art form, I love the quote "an artist never completes his work; he abandons it." Having said that, re: acting - Katie Holmes is an apprentice; Meryl Streep is a master.

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  33. Mare,
    I love this, and I love your example! Excellent point, thanks so much. :)
    Blessings,
    Karen

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  34. I recently attended a grammar workshop and was shocked at how sloppy my writing had gotten!

    Yup, it's a journey alright! :)

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  35. Cheryl,
    I think we all do this sometimes, you know? I teach one and slack up more than I should. lol :)
    Blessings,
    Karen

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Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your input. Have a blessed day!