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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Writing is Hard

Writing is hard. I do not think anyone will disagree with me on this. Even as I sit here and write, I am struggling to think of what my next points will be. So if I bounce around all over the place, I apologize.

The prestige of telling people that you are a writer is still something individuals strive for, and who can blame them. We as a society look to our writers for direction, and right now there is no better time to be a writer. Currently the print media is in a period of transition. Consumers are no longer buying the traditional print media of newspapers, magazines, and books. Instead consumers are moving towards the new electronic media realm of blogs, eBooks, and online news sites. This is truly an exciting time. With the click of a button, a writer can give their work to the world instantaneously.

As I surf the Internet and check out other websites, there is one thing that continual strikes me, and that is there are a lot of bad writers out there. Before I continue let me fully acknowledge that I am by no means a great writer. At best I am a fair writer. For me writing is a real discipline. Before I can type anything, I must first hand write it. I have to do this with anything I write, even my blogs, and let me tell you it is very time consuming. But it is rewarding too. It forces me to focus more, which I need to do. Part of the reason I started this blog is I begin Graduate School in less than a month, and I have not written anything formal in almost two years so I need the practice.

I think this is one of my strengths in writing. I admit that I have weakness, and I work to improve in those areas I need improvement in. I brainstorm blog entry ideas, I talk to others about my writing, I do research on my topics, etc. Because of this work I am beginning to see improvement with my writing.

But I do see things that scare me. I work in an educational setting and I see that today’s students are not taking their writing skills seriously. I notice that today’s students do not completely understand the rules of punctuation, do no know when to use their or there, here or hear, and some are even using text messaging lingo in their formal writing. We cannot let this become acceptable in today’s society.

Our society cannot last if we continue to allow our writing skills to erode like this. I am a student of history, and the single greatest achievement in the history of mankind, other than the invention of the wheel, is the invention of the alphabet. Writing allows us to remember and interpret our history, to communicate with one another, to entertain each other with stories of exotic locations that can only exist in our imagination. If we do not emphasize the importance and beauty of writing with our young people, if we do not encourage them to practice their writing skills, and work to improve them, what will happen to our society?

In closing I would like to end with these words of encouragement. The only way you become a great writer is by practicing, and learning from your mistakes. Sure it’s hard work, but the only things worth wild in life are gained by hard work. Even in this high octane, me first society, the written word still has the ability to move individuals; it can still change the world. Be that instrument of change.

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