Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. I’m No Shakespeare

 

I’m not being falsely modest. But I’m not a writer like Shakespeare, never expect to be, never want to be. The reason: I can only be who I am.

For a long time, I refused to call myself a writer. I wrote well as a student. As an independent consultant, I wrote articles for professional publications and used them as marketing pieces for my business. I even wrote a book. But I never felt comfortable calling myself a writer, never mind an “author.”

Then I found Ricochet. And I fell in love with writing: the writing of others, the chance to write comments, and eventually even writing my own articles. Yet I still felt uncomfortable calling myself a writer. It seemed so—well—pretentious. Other self-perceptions held me back, too.

My writing is like the way I wear my hair: unpretentious, simple, and easy. I don’t have the flourishes and flowing style that other writers have. I favored non-fiction posts because I didn’t have to be too “creative.” Then I decided to try a little fiction story. It was scary. And it was fun. And it was well-received. So I’ve written a couple of stories since.

You don’t have to be a remarkable writer to write on Ricochet. You just need to be motivated to write. To share your ideas. To speak your truth. To make us laugh. To make us cry.

Let your writing express something honest and passionate. Write about something that you think is important, or amusing, or clever. At Ricochet, all kinds of essays are welcome.

Don’t worry about whether you think you’re a writer or not. Don’t agonize over topics; if people don’t read it, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything about your writing, or about you. (@arahant helped me clarify that fact.)

Writing can be therapeutic, fun, maturing. It can help you clarify your beliefs and values, your struggles and your confusion regarding just about anything.

Don’t worry about being a Shakespeare. Don’t worry about whether you think you are a writer.

Maybe someday, like me, you’ll realize you are.

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  1. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    New rule for the Code of Conduct: All posts must be written in Iambic pentameter. 

    Good luck, kids!

    • #1
    • February 27, 2019, at 7:34 AM PST
    • 13 likes
  2. Vance Richards Member
    Vance Richards Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn: At Ricochet, all kinds of essays are welcome.

     

    • #2
    • February 27, 2019, at 7:55 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  3. She Reagan
    She Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Susan Quinn: “I’m no Shakespeare”

    Don’t sweat it, Susan. There are a great many people who think Shakespeare wasn’t Shakespeare, either.

    You’re doing fine.

     

    • #3
    • February 27, 2019, at 8:22 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  4. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnell Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    EJHill (View Comment):
    EJHill  

    New rule for the Code of Conduct: All posts must be written in Iambic pentameter. 

    Good luck, kids!

    Well, that lets me out. I can barely manage English, much less foreign languages.

    • #4
    • February 27, 2019, at 8:45 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  5. Arahant Member

    EJHill (View Comment):

    New rule for the Code of Conduct: All posts must be written in Iambic pentameter.

    Good luck, kids!

    Be careful what you ask for.

    • #5
    • February 27, 2019, at 9:36 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. Arahant Member

    I’ll never be Shakespeare:
    My name’s not a spondee.
    I’m not even his peer.
    I’ll never be Shakespeare:
    But I shan’t shed a tear.
    I will always be me.
    I’ll never be Shakespeare:
    My name’s not a spondee.

    • #6
    • February 27, 2019, at 9:41 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Arahant (View Comment):

    I’ll never be Shakespeare:
    My name’s not a spondee.
    I’m not even his peer.
    I’ll never be Shakespeare:
    But I shan’t shed a tear.
    I will always be me.
    I’ll never be Shakespeare:
    My name’s not a spondee.

    Umm . . . maybe not? ;-)

    • #7
    • February 27, 2019, at 9:44 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. Arahant Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):
    Umm . . . maybe not? ;-)

    Well, if you went by “Sue Quinn,” it would be a spondee. But as Susan, it works.

    • #8
    • February 27, 2019, at 9:51 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  9. thelonious Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    I’ll never be Shakespeare:
    My name’s not a spondee.
    I’m not even his peer.
    I’ll never be Shakespeare:
    But I shan’t shed a tear.
    I will always be me.
    I’ll never be Shakespeare:
    My name’s not a spondee.

    Wow. Most of this rhymes. So it must be good.

    • #9
    • February 27, 2019, at 10:50 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  10. Arahant Member

    thelonious (View Comment):
    Wow. Most of this rhymes. So it must be good.

    The form is a triolet.

    • #10
    • February 27, 2019, at 11:04 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  11. Old Bathos Moderator

    I find that lighter fare with less pontification is better received at Ricochet. My larger profundities often garner little attention despite the anticipation of recognition and wild acclaim.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEedFHxSVSI

    • #11
    • February 27, 2019, at 11:06 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  12. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    I find that lighter fare with less pontification is better received at Ricochet. My larger profundities often garner little attention despite the anticipation of recognition and wild acclaim.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEedFHxSVSI

    You are fine writer, @oldbathos, and I try not to miss your posts!

    • #12
    • February 27, 2019, at 11:11 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  13. Stad Thatcher

    EJHill (View Comment):

    New rule for the Code of Conduct: All posts must be written in Iambic pentameter.

    Good luck, kids!

    I think the thing you say is out of line.

    Did that work? Hehe . . .

    • #13
    • February 27, 2019, at 1:38 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  14. Jim George Member

    Susan Quinn:

    Writing can be therapeutic, fun, maturing. It can help you clarify your beliefs and values, your struggles and your confusion regarding just about anything.

    Don’t worry about being a Shakespeare. Don’t worry about whether you think you are a writer.

    As far as I’m concerned, you are now crowned The Bard of Ricochet as your writing style is one of the best, and way better than you give yourself credit for! Although, it must be noted, as you do above, there are some very talented writers here, and I’m constantly urging friends to get on Ricochet as I think, being a good friend, they would thoroughly enjoy it, as I do. 

    Your comment above about writing helping one to clarify beliefs, values, viewpoints etc., rang a “distant chord” and then I realized what it was — more decades ago than I care to specify, one of our Law Professors, an incredible genius who was at that time in her 80’s, said something I’ve never forgotten: if you want to really learn something, write about it. So true. 

    If I may, speaking of The Bard, I am in the process of taking a video course published by The Great Courses, from whom I get no consideration of any kind for mentioning this, by the way, on how to read and learn Shakespeare. In the course of that undertaking, I have gotten deeply into Hamlet, am now in the same kind of study of Macbeth and will shortly turn to The Tempest. I cannot recommend it too highly, especially to The Bard of Ricochet! :-) 

    Thanks again, Jim.

    • #14
    • February 27, 2019, at 2:57 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  15. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jim George (View Comment):
    As far as I’m concerned, you are now crowned The Bard of Ricochet as your writing style is one of the best

    Absolutely. Susan writes clearly and elegantly, achieving the single biggest goal: communicating with the readers while keeping our attention. 

    • #15
    • February 28, 2019, at 7:28 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  16. Manny Member

    Susan Quinn: You don’t have to be a remarkable writer to write on Ricochet. You just need to be motivated to write. To share your ideas. To speak your truth. To make us laugh. To make us cry.

    One also needs time, I’m afraid. I barely have enough time for Rico now. And once baseball season starts I will probably be on less. Last year I just disappeared once baseball started up. I’ll try not to this year. Between work, family (with a nine year old son), reading, book club, church, and following major league baseball, it’s tough to find the time. There are priorities!

    Let me say, I love reading your posts Susan. You are a writer in my book.

    • #16
    • February 28, 2019, at 7:29 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. Ralphie Member

     A lot of people call themselves singers and artists that are questionable descriptions also. It is a good thing to doubt yourself because it is generally a sign you are somewhat self aware and perhaps not a Dunning/Kruger low ability person.

    • #17
    • February 28, 2019, at 7:32 AM PST
    • 1 like
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Manny (View Comment):

    One also needs time, I’m afraid. I barely have enough time for Rico now. And once baseball season starts I will probably be on less. Last year I just disappeared once baseball started up. I’ll try not to this year. Between work, family (with a nine year old son), reading, book club, church, and following major league baseball, it’s tough to find the time. There are priorities!

    Let me say, I love reading your posts Susan. You are a writer in my book.

    You’ve written some fine posts yourself, Manny! I appreciate your priorities, but don’t go away for too long! And thank you.

    • #18
    • February 28, 2019, at 7:44 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  19. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Ralphie (View Comment):

    A lot of people call themselves singers and artists that are questionable descriptions also. It is a good thing to doubt yourself because it is generally a sign you are somewhat self aware and perhaps not a Dunning/Kruger low ability person.

    Very good point, @ralphie. Even if we admit we are writers, we need to constantly assess what we are writing, how we are expressing ourselves, and we communicate. Without that self-assessment, arrogance will reign!

    • #19
    • February 28, 2019, at 7:45 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  20. James Hageman Moderator

    Arahant (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    New rule for the Code of Conduct: All posts must be written in Iambic pentameter.

    Good luck, kids!

    Be careful what you ask for.

    Shouldn’t that be, “Be careful what you ask for, ma’am”?

    • #20
    • February 28, 2019, at 8:10 AM PST
    • 1 like
  21. Arahant Member

    James Hageman (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    New rule for the Code of Conduct: All posts must be written in Iambic pentameter.

    Good luck, kids!

    Be careful what you ask for.

    Shouldn’t that be, “Be careful what you ask for, ma’am”?

    Mr. Hill is not a ma’am.

    • #21
    • February 28, 2019, at 8:13 AM PST
    • 1 like
  22. Suspira Member

    The quality of writing here is intimidating for many of us. As a lapsed journalist, I know I can write coherently, but, alas, I don’t know much, which hampers contributions on a site fully stocked with erudition.

    • #22
    • February 28, 2019, at 8:42 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  23. Manny Member

    Suspira (View Comment):

    The quality of writing here is intimidating for many of us. As a lapsed journalist, I know I can write coherently, but, alas, I don’t know much, which hampers contributions on a site fully stocked with erudition.

    You don’t have to write about politics Suspira. I am sure there are many aspects of life and experience that you know about.

    • #23
    • February 28, 2019, at 8:59 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Suspira (View Comment):

    The quality of writing here is intimidating for many of us. As a lapsed journalist, I know I can write coherently, but, alas, I don’t know much, which hampers contributions on a site fully stocked with erudition.

    Yes–AND–I refuse to be called erudite! Then again, @suspira, maybe that specific adjective wasn’t meant for me! There are hundreds of styles on Ricochet. And I am sure you have something to say, you lapsed-journalist, you! So please do!

    • #24
    • February 28, 2019, at 8:59 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  25. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn

    Manny (View Comment):

    Suspira (View Comment):

    The quality of writing here is intimidating for many of us. As a lapsed journalist, I know I can write coherently, but, alas, I don’t know much, which hampers contributions on a site fully stocked with erudition.

    You don’t have to write about politics Suspira. I am sure there are many aspects of life and experience that you know about.

    Precisely. For example, I wrote a post on dieting and, well, this one, too! @suspira, try the Quote of the Day or Group Writing; the latest GW is on “An Unexpected Gift.” You must have had ONE of those over the years. ;-)

    • #25
    • February 28, 2019, at 9:01 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  26. Arahant Member

    Here’s the sign-up sheet:

    https://ricochet.com/598460/march-2019-group-writing-theme-unexpected-gifts/

    • #26
    • February 28, 2019, at 9:18 AM PST
    • 1 like
  27. Suspira Member

    Manny (View Comment):

    Suspira (View Comment):

    The quality of writing here is intimidating for many of us. As a lapsed journalist, I know I can write coherently, but, alas, I don’t know much, which hampers contributions on a site fully stocked with erudition.

    You don’t have to write about politics Suspira. I am sure there are many aspects of life and experience that you know about.

    Ah, but the shallowness of my accumulated knowledge extends far beyond politics. I’m a generalist, which was great in my career writing lifestyle stories. I interviewed people who knew things and then I wrote about it. Easy peasy.

    Do we have a group dedicated to writing? I could talk about that…in a general sort of way. (Insert self-deprecating humor emoji.)

    • #27
    • February 28, 2019, at 10:37 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  28. Manny Member

    Suspira (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    Suspira (View Comment):

    The quality of writing here is intimidating for many of us. As a lapsed journalist, I know I can write coherently, but, alas, I don’t know much, which hampers contributions on a site fully stocked with erudition.

    You don’t have to write about politics Suspira. I am sure there are many aspects of life and experience that you know about.

    Ah, but the shallowness of my accumulated knowledge extends far beyond politics. I’m a generalist, which was great in my career writing lifestyle stories. I interviewed people who knew things and then I wrote about it. Easy peasy.

    Do we have a group dedicated to writing? I could talk about that…in a general sort of way. (Insert self-deprecating humor emoji.)

    A general sort of way is about the scale of what we can do in a post. Susan and Arahant can tell you about the writing group.

    • #28
    • February 28, 2019, at 12:19 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  29. Arahant Member

    Suspira (View Comment):
    Do we have a group dedicated to writing? I could talk about that…in a general sort of way.

    Sort of. For instance, there is this group:

    https://ricochet.com/groups/getting-paid-to-write/

    Or there are special interest groups, such as:

    https://ricochet.com/groups/starship-ricochet/

    or

    https://ricochet.com/groups/society-of-formalist-teaching-poets-on-ricochet-next/

    • #29
    • February 28, 2019, at 2:34 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. Doctor Robert Member

    EJHill (View Comment):

    New rule for the Code of Conduct: All posts must be written in Iambic pentameter.

    Ten long years ago,/

    To impress a sweet girl friend/

    I spoke in Haiku.

     

    And so /it should /not be/ that hard/ at all

    To write/my posts/ to you/the way/he asks.

     

    • #30
    • February 28, 2019, at 3:33 PM PST
    • 2 likes

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