Wednesday, 10 August 2005, 9:08:38 EDT
I used to loathe writing. In fact, I am still not that fond of it. Writing feels more like a task than something fun to do for me. A couple of things have helped me with it though: 1) college and 2) this web site. College, if you want to actually do well at it, will teach a person to write in a hurry. I think the only classes that I have not had to do a lot of writing in are math classes. There is only so much writing that, with words not symbols, can be done in math unless you are explaining some concept. It was the massive amounts of writing in my first year that really killed my GPA and thus my college career. I have spent every semester since those first few making up for the damage. But, I now get at least a 'B', if not an 'A', on every paper I write for class; can I get a "hellz yeah!"? I think the pinnacle of this is when my Regent's Writing instructor stopped reading one of my papers to exclaim, "Proper use of a semi-colon!" That, and the fact she was always saying I write really well. It is a real boost to one's ego getting that from someone with a Masters, working on their PhD, in English.
This web site has also really helped out. I don't write in the typical structured paper style here, but it is the act of writing that helps — it seems that the old adage has some merit. As I compose the writings for this site I constantly police what I am writing. One of the things that I really try to avoid is overusing words. I am constantly repeating the same words over and over again in a composition. I thought it was a personal problem until just a few minutes ago. I came across Gar's Tips on Sucks-Less Writing yesterday and have been slowly reading through it (it can take me days to read a web page some times). One of his tips is "Don't be Redundant. No, Really, Don't." in which he talks about this very problem. It is good to know that I am not the only who does it. Any way, the whole point of this post was to recommend reading Gar's Tips on Sucks-Less Writing. Give it a read, I think it will help anyone with even the slightest penchant for writing.