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There is a reason – or several reasons – why so much of one’s education is spent on learning the craft of writing. It’s not because educators are sadists who enjoy watching students toil away on tedious assignments, essays, and papers. Though the student may find writing exhausting and futile, writing assignments are actually helping them prepare for later in their adult lives, where they will have to write out of obligation, necessity or responsibility in their career and in their daily lives. People, mainly adults, write every day – emails, letters, social media posts, text messages, checks, applications. So it makes sense to embrace it, the act and skill of writing because it’s never going away. It’s an inevitable thing people in the Western hemisphere have to do. People will always be called on to write out their language; it’s a form of communicated that is encouraged and appreciated by society.
Many people find writing, the medium of communication that represents language through the inscription of signs and symbols, quite enjoyable, too. They were probably the ones inventing stories as a child to pass the time or to combat their loneliness; they were likely writing in a diary or a journal from a young age, a way to deal with their emotions, thoughts, and life experiences. They write stories or essays or articles either for money, for fun or to escape reality. Author Ray Bradbury, in Zen in the Art of Writing, said, “You must stay drunk on writing so that reality cannot destroy you.” Some people see writing as a puzzle they have to figure out, inserting all the right pieces at the right parts to make up something bigger than was anticipated. Some just enjoy the act of making sentences.
And, of course, not everyone feels this way about writing. It can present a dreaded element of tedium – and it often feels like work, even to the best writers. It’s not easy doing this: putting one word after another word to make a sentence and a complete thought. It can be like pulling teeth, and the person doing the writing something will often feel like ripping out their own hair multiples times a writing session. But the process can be worth it after something has been written – to examine, to read, something they created with their thoughts and their language. It comes down to having an expertise and at least a small bit of respect for one’s own language. Writing is fun once the basics have been learned – the grammar and punctuation rules and standards – so the writer can be free to consider their thoughts, experiences, and even problems and put them down on paper.
Writing is almost as old as civilization itself. Modern anthropologists have found writings in caves that sheltered Neanderthals and historians have discovered ancient writings that were used to record information. Looking back, it’s easy to see why even today writing is used ubiquitously in just about all cultures and societies. In many ways, writing has become a crucial way for people to communicate, to convey thoughts, needs, information and emotions to other people.
Writing, once again, is also a great outlet for creativity. Look at poems, songs, movies, articles, books, essays, letters – they all require writing. Writing something – the process of working on a project or task that requires the picking and choosing of words in one’s language to make sentences – if looked at with the right attitude and perspective, can be a very affirming experience. But it’s also a valuable skill to have. Since most people are required to do it, and because writing is a tedious activity most people do not enjoy, people who write very well have an advantage. People who write well probably write well because they enjoy the act of writing; more than likely, they didn’t become an expert at the act of writing. Good writers become bloggers, authors and novelists, journalists and essayists, screenwriters and copywriters, lawyers and marketing geniuses, teachers and business people. Writing is a skill that most people need to have, of course, but one that few excel in.