Writing for Dummies
This book is what happens when someone thinks the only reason they aren’t a professional writer is that they don’t have the time.
My grand unified take, which I’ll tell anyone who does or doesn’t want to listen, is that writing is an incredibly stupid and hard job that really no one would do unless they were, like me and a few others, afflicted with a spiritual/ emotional compulsion to keep doing it despite all the reasons that it’s horrible. For that reason, I neither understand nor respect the spirit of Ian Lynam’s self-published book The Impossibility of Silence: Writing for Designers, Artists & Photographers, a loose collection of thoughts about writing that seem to be a mix of Artist’s Way–inspired “you can do it if you believe it” and what happens when someone thinks the only reason they aren’t a professional writer is that they don’t have the time. The book opens with a meditation on purple dust and an exhortation to readers to tell themselves, “I am worth it.” Can you imagine a textbook for aspiring oncologists or software coders or airline pilots opening with the same exhortation? Of course not. But no one thinks writing is a job, not a real one anyway. There aren’t any books called Chemical Engineering for Musicians or Microbiology for Lawyers, because that would be ridiculous. And so is a book about writing by a graphic designer.