Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words. – Mark Twain
Did you know that there is a term for those who fear writing?
Many Scriptophobes are afraid of fear of rejection, fear of being ridiculed, fear of embarrassing themselves or fear of being criticized, etc. Or they can simply be lazy.
A student might have been criticized or laughed at for her writing. This leads to a panic attack each time she has to write in the class. This creates negative thinking patterns which are hard to overcome as it impacts the self-esteem. This is how the writing phobia starts.
There are other reasons why people struggle with writing. People lack commitment. It takes a whole lot of effort to organize your thoughts and put it in words for others to understand it clearly. It also needs great discipline to consistently write. That is why very few people manage to maintain a quality blog. Rest might have other barriers like language and handwriting. On top of all this, the use of slang and emoticons has made us even lazier.
More and more of the world is becoming multimedia. People prefer audio/visual over plain text. However, writing is still important – for academicians, professionals and all of us as it is an essential job skill.
For students, learning how to write essays can be one of the uninteresting experiences, but it is also one of the most important. If students don’t learn how to master writing at a young age, they will have a more difficult time mastering the skill when they are older. The sooner they start, the better off they will be. Learning how to write well also forces students to think better. They become more capable of analysing what they read, interpreting data and thinking critically. Reading is also important, but it is only half of the equation. By writing, students are forced to have their own ideas and form them into something concrete. Therefore it is important that students should write everyday.
The fear of writing exists not only in students but also amongst the working class including top professionals. While it is possible for elders to improve their writing skills, it is easier to eradicate this fear and develop good writing skills at an early age.
Career communications of all kinds are being increasingly handled online and in text. It starts with the job application- filling out a form, writing a cover letter and drafting a resume. Most online job postings require some form of written content, and the quality of this writing often serves as an important factor to get selected. If a candidate is put on the spot to write something, it is not easy to create an effective write-up unless she knows the basics of writing. Learning language is one thing and writing effectively in that language is altogether different.
Businesses need employees who can write well. The digital age has certainly not reduced the need for writing. It has just shifted from pen and paper to the keyboard. Emails, websites, faxes, social media posts etc. all require written content. E-mail communications within the office are especially important. Many jobs require people to send e-mails to customers, and a poorly worded message damage the sale or relationship.
To conclude, no matter what stage of life or field you are in, writing is necessary.
Good news is that writing can be improved like any other skill.
Students can improve their writing skills by:
- Writing for their school journals, magazines and newspaper articles
- Take part in essay competitions
- Research and prepare projects on various academic topics
- Summarise the content towards the end of a lecture and many other fun methods.
Newspapers like Times of India have got a student edition where regularly you can contribute with views, opinions, reactions. If you need help in improving techniques, there are books and workshops available.
On the other hand, professionals can improve their writing by something as simple as drafting effective mail or expressing views on online business forums/groups to preparing a project report. You can also take help from books and courses in writing.