When Did Learning How To Write Become A Bad Thing?

When did learning how to write and become a better writer become a bad thing? Obviously, I have a bias towards learning how to write and becoming a better writer, I am in college getting a degree in Profession-Technical Communication, which translates into writing. I also, as you may have noticed  write on multiple blogs and in other formats. I have always thought I was a good writer, then I went to college and learned that I was an okay writer, but through learning I have become a better writer and will continue to get better because I am learning what I thought I knew and what I didn’t know. Thus, I admit I have a bias about this subject.

I also have a gripe. I see, read, and edit material from writers that tells me that they know the basics or some of the basics, but they have not learned the craft of writing. Nor do they think they should learn about the craft of writing. This bugs me. There seems to be this belief that because a person writes that they are a writer. That is similar to me saying I work on my car, I must be a mechanic or I cook at home, I must be a chef or I give myself aspirin at home, I must be pharmacist. All of those examples are absurd and if someone were to claim those things someone (I hope) would point out the erroneous nature of their claims–they do not have the training or education to claim to be those things. The same thing applies to writing.

I am not saying formal education. Honestly, much of what I have learned I could have learned on my own, by reading a lot of books and putting forth the effort. That is an extremely long path to take, turns out learning from someone else is easier. Who knew? Those skills I could not learn on my own, are what separates me from people without the education and formal training. Just as they do with any career.

Writing is more than putting words to screen or paper. Writing is more than expressing yourself with words. Writing is a more than what most people seem to think writing is. I will be the first to say, I dislike editing. I do not mean I dislike editing as a function, concept or process of writing. I mean I, Nate, dislike the act of editing a work, mine or someone else, it is not a strong skill of mine. (I have gotten much better than when I started college) I know this, I find other people who have those skills and work with them. Editing is IMPORTANT. Further, editing is not spelling and punctuation. Editing is organization. Editing is flow. Editing is voice. Editing clarity. Editing is as important as writing itself. Alas, editing cannot happen without writing, thus in the order of things editing falls second and for way too many writers editing is not even a concept. One and done writing DOES NOT exist! Good writers know this.

One of the elements of editing I do enjoy and this may sound odd, is getting back my writing with edit marks. I keep track of what is noted by the editor and if I agree, sometimes I do not, I keep an eye out for that mistake in future works. Editing keeps me a better writer. Editing is not something I take for granted.

So here I am at the end of my rant, and I have not come close to everything writing is and should be and I still do not know when learning about writing and becoming a better writer became a bad thing, but for the sake of the language, for the sake of writers, for the sake of readers this had better change–unless you enjoy reading garbage. I know I don’t.


5 thoughts on “When Did Learning How To Write Become A Bad Thing?

  1. Given what it takes to pull off high-level, professional-type writing, it seems you’ve answered your own question: It’s a bad thing because it’s really too much like work and can be mind-numbingly labor-intensive. It’s an art and a talent not everyone has but, really, anyone who has sat through an English class and their eyes have glazed over learning how to really make English sing like a diva will confess that learning how to write “properly” is a pain in the ass.

    I’m a published author, aced every English class taken, and had a job where I had to know how to write, proofread, edit, etc., and I never liked doing it – I still don’t like doing it and, like you, I write a blog… but it is fun when you come to realize that words have power and the better you can use your words, the more powerful they become.


    1. Ankoku1331

      Well said. You give me hope. Your statement also gave some writing professors hope that writing is not dead (yes, I showed this around). 🙂


  2. Pingback: A Great No School Day | Speaking Out on Life

Take Part in the Conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s