December 28th, 1998
"This a test; it is only a test. If it had been the real
thing you would have been charged for it." And it's not a very important
one either. Some are, this is not. Remember, I have to write one of these
columns every week; I get a bit 'dry' and have to fill in with something.
So, here it is. You can make as much of it as you wish. Scan it, race
through it, or study it in detail; probably will not matter a lot either way.
Ready now? OK, lets get started.
Till next week, remember ...
Who is your favorite singer? Now, you ask yourself,
"why has he asked me that?" The correct answer is, it was a trick question.
I have no interest in who your favorite singer is. But, you are starting to
invest a small amount of time on this and perhaps, you will choose to
continue now that you have made that investment.
The next question is this. Who is your favorite author? Go
ahead, name a few of the books you have read lately and the authors. Now
name some of the books you have read in the past and who were the authors
of them? How about an article in a magazine, that will count on this test. Do
you remember what it was about, or do you remember the name of the writer?
Which was the most important to you? Content, or quality of writing?
"So what," you say? At some point here, you must have
started to think of something about fly-fishing. Good, you are passing
the test so far. Now, when you do read something, is it because it is
written by a writer or author who's work you trust and admire? Or is it
about some interesting facet of fly-fishing you would like to know more
about? Not sure of your answer? Fine, you're still passing.
Let's move on to the next question. Do you notice, and,
or care that since in today's modern age of materials and communication
there is much more to write about than in the past? New stuff, new things,
new materials, and new methods. This gives rise to a flood of new writers.
For the most part, folks like you and me with something to say about
'such-and-such.' Not polished, professional journalists, rather common
guys with a message. This has caused a vacuum in the fine art of writing.
But, hold on there; usage creates words and also usage and acceptance
creates writing, does it not?
The conclusion here must follow as this. We have more
and more guys writing about more and more stuff, stuff they know about,
but are not trained to write about. And we have less and less trained writers
writing about the esthetics of fly-fishing due in part to several reasons. The
market is soft for the subject, fine writing almost seems out of style these
days, few will have, or take the time to enjoy such writing in our fast paced
The last question is this. Are you missing something? If what
you read doesn't help you cast better, tie a new fly, or let you know 'where
the big boys' go to catch big fish, do you consider it a waste of your valuable
time? Perhaps you're right; but there is only one way to find out. Analyze what
you are reading and if you feel you may have fallen into a 'rut,' make a change.
Go out and buy an old book; or join a writing class and become a writer, a really
good one. Did you pass the test? Only you know that answer.~ JC