Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for Quintessential

2013 A to Z Blogging Challenge
It's All About the Books
Day 17
April 19, 2013

This is the third year I’ve participated in the A to Z Blogging Challenge and this time around I’ve been concentrating on the books. But the letter Q is a stopper. Q means day seventeen is a bit of a departure. It’s time to get a little philosophical.


How would you define the quintessential writer? Maybe a better question would be CAN you define the quintessential writer? As the topic of our “Q” blog day, I thought I’d better start with the word itself.

Typing “quintessential” into the search box of the Merriam-Webster online dictionary got me to definition of the root word, quintessence.

1: the fifth and highest element in ancient and medieval philosophy that permeates all nature and is the substance composing the celestial bodies

2: the essence of a thing in its purest and most concentrated form

3: the most typical example or representative

Ah… philosophy. You can debate with yourself and call it a philosophical discussion and no one will think you’ve tilted over the edge.

So is the quintessential writer one who is the most typical example of her/his craft? One whose writing is of the purest form? Should that writer produce perfect, flawless stories that appeal to a widest possible audience? Or is it one who cares not about fame, but about being part of a bigger whole?

I think the quintessential writer is one who loves and enjoys the craft. It’s an individual who constantly strives to improve herself/himself through the craft. It’s a writer who challenges the reader to learn, whether it’s a trivial fact presented in the text or the inspiration to search for and read available information. It’s a person who understands that through this thing we call the printed word, knowledge is shared and preserved, and people are inspired.

For myself, I like the idea of being an atypical individual who is a typical example of a writer. I don’t kid myself that I’m the consummate writer, or that my stories are masterly or superior. Don’t get me wrong - I think they’re good and apparently lots readers out there agree since they keep buying (and pirating) them. And while I do aspire to be the best writer I can be, but not necessarily the best writer of all time, maybe I’ll never be called the quintessential writer.

But then again perhaps one day someone will say, “she loved writing for the joy of it,” and I don’t think it could get any more quintessential than that.



Cheryl said...

I've always loved this word. I don't use it too much, but it rolls off the tongue nicely.

Glad to see you're still plugging away with the challenge.


KC Kendricks said...

Hi Cheryl! Thanks for stopping by the blog today :) I enjoy the A to Z Challenge but it does knock me out for blogging in May. I'm already trying to think of a theme for next year.

Disha said...
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KC Kendricks said...
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