Monday, April 6, 2009

Unlike Ballet

I have been reading Malcolm Gladwell again: his first book, The Tipping Point. It’s an examination of the factors that kick off epidemics of disease, thought, trend, etc.

I am just not getting into it like I did Blink and Outliers.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the book. The copy is full of great anecdotes and facts. The concepts are well supported. It’s totally interesting and readable. It was a number one national bestseller, for crying out loud. And yet somehow it lacks a certain conversational magic.

It could be that the topic just isn’t as engaging to me. But I think it’s the voice—Gladwell’s less mature voice.

It’s not like he didn’t have bazillions of writing hours and credits under his belt by The Tipping Point—but by Blink and Outliers, Gladwell had bazillions more. His easy, winning voice had grown and solidified (making him his own anecdote for the 10,000 hour rule he describes in Outliers (see my previous post Thanks, Fred)).

Just reminds me that this writing thing is a huge time investment. And makes me think of something a brilliant friend once said: “Luckily writing is something you get better at as you age, unlike ballet.”

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