Writing: an Art or Skill?
By: Elia Oey
When I was in my primary school, writing was one of my weaknesses. Coincidentally, so does Art. I didn’t like writing and drawing. Most of the time, I got bad grades for them or if I was lucky just passing grades. So I grew up saying to everybody: writing is an art. If you don’t have the finger for it, you can’t do it.
But as I grew up and read a lot, I run into a statement from somewhere saying “in Harvard (University) they believe even wisdom can be taught”. I don’t remember the exact words, but something like that. With the same philosophy, so does writing. It can be sharpened through exercise. In other words: it’s a skill not an art.
And here are some of my own tips on how to write:
- Read A Lot
By reading a lot we have enough words in our minds. What starting as someone else’s words, after some time of contemplation and combine from various sources can lead to your own thoughts.
- Brainstorm with yourself
After having several thoughts of your own, brainstorm with yourself to settle your thoughts into ideas. It’s like combining your thoughts into few small topics
- Make contemplating time
Next is the most crucial one: Make the time to contemplate on your ideas. Contemplating bring clarity to your ideas and how to make connection amongst your pool of ideas.
People have different ways to do this. For example, I do this by walking with my dog. Other people may have different ways, but the most important thing is to MAKE time. If you hardly have the time to “stop to smell the rose”, you most likely don’t have the time to write. I believed you know what I mean.
- Make notes: whenever, whatever, whoever
What is also important is to make notes and collection of them. Even when it seems your ideas are too short, just jot it down. Treat them like your source of “writing seeds”. Do it whenever that ideas emerged, be it during waiting for your dentist or on the train to Paris.
- Make a Strong Purpose
After getting the seeds, you need to connect them into a nice writing. To do it, it’s useful if you have a strong purpose on why you need to write. The purpose can be something basic like monetary reward, or can be something unique like helping a friend or make your name appear in google’s search engine.
In marketing jargon “writing is a highly fragmented segment”. There are a lot of genre and opportunity on what writing style you can adopt. I started writing in a blog, later followed by writing something tedious as Scopus indexed journal to entertaining’s case study. An expatriate friend of mine, knowing that he would be “nomad” from his home country for some time started a “Romany way” newsletter.
Different writing style give not only different trying opportunity for the author, but also creativity to capture more reader. Even in writing something scientific like thesis or journal, I believe there should be some degree of freedom to it.
- Just do it
Voila…last but least just try write it down. Even if it turns out to be bad, remember…. it’s a skill. And with practice skill can be sharpened.
This is exactly how I write this article. Good luck.
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