3 thoughts on “Ta-Nehisi Coates: Writing Is About Failure.

  1. I love Ta-Nehisi Coates and his writing. He emanates passion and courage. His writing is poetic, yet powerful. This video was really encouraging, especially so students taking this class. English 202D has a reputation for being a useless class that no one gets an A in, but I think students forget that writing is an art. Business students especially, tend to not prioritize this class because they get by on mediocre writing. All of our efforts go to the classes that have a hard reputation like accounting, finance or management. However, writing is such an essential part of every job, every major, every aspect of life! And because this class comes with such a negative reputation, students don’t realize that the things we learn in this clas are not useless. We all could become better writers. It’s not just about meeting a word count. It’s thoughtful, courageous and a true exercise of the brain. I’m going to take what Coates said about writing and use it to fuel my work in this class and in later classes as well. I’m going to take it seriously, and use every opportunity to employ the strategies I learn to become a better writer, not only for my career but for myself as well.

  2. I strongly believe breakthroughs are about putting pressure on yourself and coming out with a finished product. In this video, he believes the same and discusses how success comes from repeated practice over and over again. He also encourages taking breaks and coming back to your work. For some people, writing is an avenue for expressing yourself but for some others writing can be depressing and a true physical challenge. I really like this video because most people feel all of these feelings described. I especially find writing a challenge and like to hear that others struggle the same way I do. Preserving through the rough first draft and continuing to better your work as you go on, ultimately leaves you with a great final product. While it may not be exactly what you imagined in your head, it shows the journey from beginning thoughts to final thoughts.

  3. This take on writing is interesting. Most people see writing as a dreaded chore; something necessary to be done for work or school. This video made me respect people who write for fun or as their whole career. How Ta-Nehisi Coates talked about the frustration of getting what is in his head translated on the page was similar to the experiment about conveying a song using just taps on the table. What seems so obvious to the sender is almost impossible to decipher to the receiver. It must be so frustrating to never truly capture what the essence of the original idea. Coates stated that his writing is usually just 70% of what his original vision was. Writing as a professional career, or for fun, must be extremely frustrating at times. I found another article with an interesting take on writing as a career that you might want to check out.


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