Sherlock Holmes and Mastery of the Craft of Writing

Sherlock Holmes and Mastery of the Craft of Writing

Reader Comments (15)

  1. Nicely done, Robert. The only issue I have is that Holmes was not a horrible violin player. Quite the opposite, really.

    From Watson’s list about Sherlock Holmes’s accomplishments in A Study in Scarlet:
    10. Plays the violin well.

    • Thanks Scott.

      His taste in music is unquestionable.

      His choice of instrument, impeccable (Stradivarius).

      He was even called by Watson a “composer of no ordinary merit.”

      But in several stories we read lines like … “scrape carelessly at the fiddle” … and “His powers upon the violin … were very remarkable but as eccentric as all his other accomplishments.” [Italics mine.]

      Would you concede that the assessment of his playing is at least divided?

      • My daughter is currently studying Sherlock Holmes original books for an English paper (9th Grade.)
        She informed me of this quote:

        “I see that I have alluded above to his powers upon the violin. These were very remarkable , but as eccentric as all his other accomplishments. That he could play pieces, and difficult pieces, I knew well, because at my request he has played me some of Mendelssohn’s Lieder, and other favourites. When left to himself, however, he would seldom produce any music or attempt any recognized air. Leaning back in his arm-chair of an evening, he would close his eyes and scrape carelessly at the fiddle which was thrown across his knee. Sometimes the chords were sonorous and melancholy. Occasionally they were fantastic and cheerful. Clearly they reflected the thoughts which possessed him…

        Your Sherlock Holmes knowledge is accurate according to a 13 year old argumentive girl.

  2. This is great advice! I really like the advice about becoming an idiot. You really have to be willing to commit fully or it’ll show in your writing. Another really good takeaway from Sherlock Holmes is that people may not always approve or be your biggest fan, but it is important to stick to your convictions.

  3. Thanks Robert, great article! I have to say I am in total agreement with you . For years I tried the more rounded approach believing it to be the right thing to do. But I’ve learnt the hard way and now having worked in health generally I now totally focus on positive ageing which is what I am most passionate about, the difference in attracting followers and raising awareness has been amazing! Totally agree with this type of focus if it’s something you truly care about?? thank you for sharing ?

  4. “If you want to master anything, you must become an idiot about nearly everything else.” This couldn’t be more true. Mastery involves the upmost dedication in order to maximize its full potential. There are no part-time masters.

    Thanks for the post.

  5. This is nice. I expect more like this now. “Ants and the Mastery of Writing,” for example. Or “Coconut trees and the Mastery of Writing.” It all relates. Very nice.

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