This week on PBS Newshour, Art Beat, Journalist and Author, Roger Rosenblatt talked about his new book, Unless it Moves The Heart, The Craft and Art of Writing. He believes that what we write must be useful to the world, and it’s important, because what we write can make suffering endurable, evil intelligible, justice desirable and love possible. He is teaching the craft of writing because he wants to give himself to others for an hour or two each week, and encourages others to do the same – give to others.
The noun he says is important. Emerson said the noun carries its own power, and Twain said a writer must find the right word, because it’s the difference between the lightening bug and the lightening. And so Rosenblatt tells his students that they are in the lightening business, and so, strive for anticipation rather than surprise, imagination rather than invention and make the world better. He calls this the ultimate definition of useful.