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Debatable: How Much Craft Do You Need?

When to Learn and When to Just Write

Donald Maass

We live in a simplified, reductive, white screen, checklist age.

I blame Apple. And the women’s magazine Cosmopolitan. Real Simple, too. You can probably envision the headlines now: “Six Steps to Perfect Happiness!” “It’s Easy!” “You’re Almost There!”

Yeah, well, certain things are not that simple. Composing a symphony, for instance. Designing a space shuttle. Getting a bill through Congress. Emigrating to the U.S.A. Treating PTSD. Network administration. Closing a home purchase. Finding shoes for a wedding. Writing a publishable novel.

Publishable novel? There’s a helluva lot to get right if you want to get your upmarket crossover mash-up on the list of ...

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