Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ride the crest of the writer’s learning curve!

The only things worth learning are

the things you learn after you know it all - Harry S. Truman

Learning has a unique quality: you wouldn’t learn anything until you – Do it. The catch is: DO IT AT A FEVERISH PACE (meaning… much, much more than what we do). It’s when you do for longer periods (long uninterrupted stretches) without giving much of a break, you’ll learn at a faster pace, as time is in great demand. If you want to get good at IT soon!

Engaging in a marathon driving frenzy can really help you to experience what driving is when you get on the highway. It teaches you how much speed required overtaking the vehicle going before you, and how much space required to safely cross the vehicle in front, and oncoming one. For this knowledge to be at your fingertips, howmuchever theory you know you won’t learn it really.

Undertake a writing marathon

The other day we went on a long drive to our native town, which is at a distance of 1000 kms. On the journey, I understood how to put the gears much more easily than I understood it during the times I drove it for shorter distances in the city (I’m a new driver and got my license recently and started driving my car!).

The whole experience gave me the much needed confidence that I can go on any long distance driving, which was lacking initially.

I made several mistakes and tried several times over how to change gears while overtaking. How and when you change a gear, how to speed up after overtaking…? This crucial knowledge doesn’t come so easy.

Encouraged with the new knowledge, I was thinking of how writing can also be improved with the same technique of going on a marathon writing-spree. Believe me it can real help us to master the art of writing to give us a deeper understanding.

It’s vital to end the drought of not-able-to-write with confidence: It is to engage yourself in writing-frenzy. Don’t bother what to write; write on anything and every thing you lay your hands on. Write on your new job, your love life, your new fatherhood, your hairdresser, your pet peeve. Mind you, never stop writing even for one day; I myself started writing every day seriously on whatever that comes to my mind (this post included!)!.

I’m not only suggesting you to write. I’m reminding myself to do that on a regular basis. I want to get to the far end of the learning curve, and make up the lost ground myself (all these years I struggled…Huh… sigh). But, for that to happen there isn’t any short cut, except start writing as if there is no tomorrow.

Learn, as you write on your Blog

It’s a big task to master the art of writing…huh. It took me some time to master it – putting words sensibly and creatively. Our thoughts most of the times are cluttered and foggy: How to give shape to them? Even after writing for ad agencies for over 10 yrs never made me a prolific writer.

But blogging, which is mostly writing your personal experiences - is a good platform to hone your writing skills. Ever since I started writing on my blog, I became a better writer, I believe, each day. I struggled initially and later picked up pace and started writing spontaneously from the time I got my blog designed by my friend for free – Bokjae of (he writes from his heart) and Vivienne of (check out her blog for some good info). I may not be writing some ground breaking stuff, though; but it gives me enough practice to learn the art.

And, when I want a certain word for a certain expression of my thoughts, then I know, how difficult it is to write with befitting words. That makes my mind sharper and quicker to pick beautiful expressions as I read.

And later, when I’m reading, I’ll find that word which I had been looking sitting pretty in an expression.

Mind those wise quotes, as you read and write

I wonder how some people quote beautiful quotations at the exact context (I like quotes in Writer Dad). These quotations are tricky things. If you want to quote a quotation you wouldn’t find them.

I envisioned a plan whenever I find a quotation I would write it down in a book I kept next to me.

But I feel, the ideal way is to cut and paste in a separate file. Whenever you want to quote you may use them easily. You’ll find no. of quotations skillfully quoted in many posts. It’s prudent to write them down, or cut and paste them in a file.

I observed another thing, as I’m spending more time reading these days on blogs, I do write down some of the quotes (some quotes are very rare). They became very familiar to me and almost imprinted in my (poor) memory, and I can quote them with relative ease. I also like to keep them at my laptop for some days and by heart them, and can write some posts on those thoughts.

Write a book or a memoir of you

I’m seriously thinking of writing a novel or a book on my favourite idea or topic (currently writing a small booklet about my brother). That really helps us keep moving at a faster pace. If you’re a newbie, don’t fret. Even then, you can venture writing one. After all, the writing may not be of a matured tone but still if you do it with your true understanding without faking your voice, it would still be very interesting to read. No doubts on that.

So, go ahead and commit yourself to write some book or novel which sure gives you a great playground to practice your writing skills, and which will surely help you to get round to the end of the learning curve. Fast! Of course, there is no end to learning, but finding you the much needed confidence and proven credentials for you to reach the other end of the learning curve.

I know each one of us have different experiences of learning in writing, It's so much useful for us if you share your experiences. Pls. add them here!


Vivienne Quek said...

Thanks for the mention. My blog is

Solomon said...

Hi Vivienne,
Thanks for the visit!
I owe you a lot - for your generous advice, time and energy spent to make me more conscious of a blog, and how to put it across.
Thanks for all the help!