In writing, there is art. And in art there is craft

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Published: Monday, 15 February, 2016 10:00 AM

“In writing, there is art. And in art there is craft” 

IIMs and top B schools do conduct WAT also along with GD & PI.

Written Ability Test or Academic Writing Test or Written Analysis Test (WAT) has become a tool to test MBA aspirant on assessing overall communication skills and personality hence, it is also equally important and crucial component of MBA admission selection process.
 
Develop points for discussion and read WAT topic: “In writing, there is art. And in art there is craft” 

Writing is a conscious process of expressing one’s thoughts both conscious and sub-conscious. In so far as it allows everyone to practice/use it, writing is a democratic process. However, there are few gifted people who practice(d) writing as an art, in whose hands writing became an object of art. People such as William Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Pablo Neruda, W.B. Yeats, Ghalib and many others elevated the process of writing to an art form, carefully crafting each word to express powerful thoughts and emotions.

Anyone can write. We make use of writing in our everyday lives, be it while studying, taking down memos, for official work and so on. But none of this will be called art. For something to be called art, it needs to create a connect with the reader, to touch at an emotional level, be a source of joy, sadness, anger, laughter, to make us better or worse than we are. Even if the thing does not evoke such expressions in the reader/audience, it can still be considered art just because the reader/audience sees it so because ‘beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.’

Art is the process of creating something out of nothing. Writers, too, begin with the blank page and create something out of nothing, create characters that never existed and make us believe that they do. Also, each writer has a distinctive way of writing or develops a unique way over time, by which he/she is identified. For instance, Shakespeare’s works can easily be distinguished from other writers because of the unique way in which Shakespeare presented a plot. So, a writer creates something unique out of nothing.

A writer may be an artist creating a work of art but he cannot do so until he/she learns the craft of writing. The writer needs to learn the basics of grammar and composition early on, how to assemble the components of writing, being aware of the various techniques of writing, to read comprehensively and so on.

For instance, when the Greek philosopher Aristotle defined the concept of tragedy, comedy, epic and lyric poetry in his ‘Poetics’, he defined the purpose of these genres of literature as well as the way they were to be presented or written. This became the benchmark of writers to follow or deviate from.

Very few writers get it right in the first attempt itself. They hone their skills over time, master the craft of writing and become confident of their artistic expression. It is at this stage that they also begin to create their own, individual, unique style of writing with which they are identified.

Writing, like other arts, includes both crafts and arts. If craft is an activity involving skill in making things by hand, then, writing is both, a work of art and craft. The writer uses his/her skill and imagination to carefully inscribe words on paper to reflect his/her thoughts. The more he/she hones this skill, the more he/she becomes better at it.

Both art and craft are creative processes. Writing is a process of art which involves craft as well. Anyone can write but only those who merge the processes of craft and art into writing become writers who leave a mark on history.

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