The Magic of Writing

What is it about writing that gets some people thinking it is an esoteric art that originates from a magical place, while others feel that anyone who can read can be a writer? I belong to the school of thought that the truth lies somewhere between these two extremes.

Good writing can be taught, and I have conducted training sessions on English grammar during my stints with several corporates, but I do believe one must have some basic pre-requisites to be able to grasp what is being said. Nothing can take the place of reading. Some writers may not be entirely on top of the nuts and bolts of English grammar. Still, due to their extensive reading, they have developed an ear for the right word, imbibed the art of crafting a good sentence and developed the ability to tell the difference between good writing and mediocre or below-average writing. Others never read but sign up for content writing courses, and, unsurprisingly, have a tough time stringing two sentences together in flawless English.

Another thing that is oft overlooked is that a good writer has to be a good thinker. Everything that he or she commits to the page must flow well. A series of sentences must flow into a paragraph, and a paragraph must convey a thought. A string of such paragraphs with varied sentences must convey the meaning that the writer intended. One must have the ability to translate ideas onto the page by using precise words. That’s the power of an array of words. I believe that a love for the language is non-negotiable. Above all, consider the audience: the reader. Business communication would entail a different vocabulary and emphasis distinct from that of a novelist.

 I know so many people who think that “anybody” can get into content writing. The difference between such writers and those who are serious about their craft is as stark as night and day. And then others say they don’t get the “time to read.” For a true bibliophile, reading is like breathing. You don’t “try to make the time for it”. It is like survival. You somehow find a way to do it. True bibliophiles make the time to read, and not because they “have to” but because they “want to.” And that makes all the difference.

This post first appeared on my LinkedIn

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5 replies

  1. Wow! What a brilliant piece, Aishwariya. I really appreciate the way you pen your thoughts down and your content is very useful. You know, I am a professional blogger and have many of articles featured on Google. Therefore, I am cordially inviting you to participate at BE.(Blogging Elementary) Grand Writing Fest 2020, India’s Longest Writing Event. I think you should give it try 🙂

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  2. It’s a very good post! Spot on and written in an engaging manner. I think I am one of those writers who isn’t ‘entirely on top of the nuts and bolts of English grammar’. Maybe because I am a Hindi medium product, I always have this nagging doubt that my post has grammatical errors. However, I try to be careful because it’s so embarrassing to spot errors in my writing, especially because I call myself a writer. As you said, it was my fascinating for English language and thankfully, I am an avid reader. And I totally agree that reading is crucial. It can teach you more than any course or writing articles. And yes, it’s odd when a writer says that they don’t have time for reading. (Sorry for this lengthy comment. :))

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    • Thank you @Tarang for your comment and for expressing your views. Thanks also for the compliment:) As a writer recently pointed out to me, a good imagination is also of paramount importance for a writer. It’s not only about grammar:)

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