Sunday, August 26, 2007

Learning How to Write

Sunday, August 26, 2007
I am now preparing modules for a two-day company-wide business writing training. I am not an expert on this. I am neither English major nor a Communications graduate. The only formal training I had was from my English subjects in grade school and high school, and Communication Skills (1-3) and Advanced College Writing at UP. I am not sure if I am capable of conducting such training. Until now, I still have trouble with prepositions and commas!

So what makes a person a good writer? I believe that attending writing courses won’t just do. One doesn’t become good at writing by taking such courses. It doesn’t just happen. Writing is a life-long learning endeavor. It starts from the day we are taught the basics of grammar, spelling vocabulary, and punctuation; to the endless compositions, essays, papers, and thesis we are forced to write in school; to hand written letters of old; to the text messages, blog entries, chats, and emails that now rule our world; to the documents, reports and all written communication that make and break our careers; and ends only until we lose our mental faculties.

A well-known writer once said: To write well, read well. There is no better teacher than the greats of literature – Steinbeck, Faulkner, James, Morrison, Garcia Marquez, to name but a few. Reading gives us a sense of how words, sentences, and paragraphs are strung so beautifully together. It tells us, this is how writing should be.

We write for different reasons. It can sometimes be a way of somehow taming the demons that haunt us or a way of expressing emotions that cannot be spoken; it is a way of giving life to stories that exist only in our imagination or a way of communicating things to move readers into action. In these we see how powerful writing can be.


Marts said...

Good readers does not really mean good writers... it goes the same for me. I love books so much but I was never good at writing. Even my journals are pathetic and my work-related reports are just satisfactory (data lang kasi laman nun hehehe). Thank God, they don't use my reports to evaluate my work. Sometimes, I even sprinkle Japanese characters on my reports para lang mahilo sila sa pagbabasa.. hehehe!

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