…in your ability in reading, critiquing, and writing.
These days, I have been writing quite a lot. A lot more than I ever did during my early days of blogging. And to me being a consistent writer isn’t so much about publishing something everyday but rather where you put your mind and how you spend your free time.
So that means even if I’m physically there, my mind is actually off looking at things from a writer’s perspective and what lessons can be drawn from there. There will be a lot of idea generation there and then. Sometimes I will daydream and train my ability to live the lives of my characters. And sometimes I will think of plots and sub-plots for my fiction writings during my downtime. Then there are days when I am simply focusing on drafting fiction and didn’t have the capacity to write something for the blog.
And let’s not forget the importance of taking a break and simply just chill or play.
So with all that out of the way, how does writing consistently make me a better reader?
Let me share what I realised today.
My colleagues knows I’m a writer because of the amount of attention I put into it and how much I talk about it. They have also seen some of my writings but I don’t share everything with them.
As a result, one of my colleagues would always get me to read her daughter’s english essays and compositions. But I suspect the other reason was I’m born here in Singapore and have been trained in both English and Mandarin since young. Therefore, I have a better command of English than my colleagues who are all from mainland China.
Today was one of those days. I had to proofread the daughter’s essay and it allow me to realise a bunch of things.
The first thing I realised was how I could intuitively pick up on and point out poor flow of an idea between any two sentences and paragraphs. From there, I was able to suggest possible fixes almost instantly. It was something that I know I couldn’t do very well in the past.
The second thing I didn’t realise I had developed was my ability to somewhat reverse engineer and figure out what was the main objective of a given piece of writing just by reading the content and without being present when the writing task was given. For example, I kind of figured out one of the essays was about having the student practice writing an opinion or commentary piece to the newspaper in the form of a letter without even seeing the homework task. In comparison, my colleague doesn’t even know what her daughter’s homework is about.
And best part about that was how I could suggest a better way of writing to meet the objective.
The third thing was how I could easily determine a piece of writing have lost all its credibility just because it started off wrongly without reading through the rest. And even after reading it through, my initial judgement remain unchanged. From there, I find myself being able to suggest alternative way of writing that presents the writer as more professional and skilled at putting across his or her arguments.
Lastly, I realised how I am able to shrink a wordy paragraph of around five sentences down to maybe one or two sentences that present the same idea. This ability to think and write concisely was something that I struggle tremendously until recently.