March 19, 2011

Good Ideas about Writing as a Mental Process

DTUAD5QRHT74 The most important part of the writing process happens in the brain. The actual conversion of the thought into a digital format using a keyboard is the physical portion of the process and is the easiest thing to do. It is what happens in the mind that we should focus our attention to when talking about writing. It is where it is determined whether or not the writing process would be successful.

As we grow, we learn some attitudes that somehow get stuck in our minds because they help us deal efficiently with problems that may confront us in our daily lives. However, some of these ideas may prevent us from doing well in other actions that we may want to do. An example of this is the mind's preference to dealing with abstract ideas that serve as shortcuts to facilitate our thinking process.

But in communication, we should focus more on how our audience would receive out thoughts rather than how our minds have conceived them. Failure in communication happens when the brain of the person we are talking with is unable to appreciate the raw and abstract ideas that our brains are working on. There should be another step that would transform the raw ideas into something that the brains of our audience would find easier to digest.

Good writers are able to perform this step automatically and seamlessly at the speed of light and so what comes up in the written form is something that their audience is more receptive to. In journalism, we are advised to write about concrete objects rather than abstract ones. This is because physical objects are easier to imagine since they have concrete counterparts in the objective reality.

And so I must tell you, aspiring writers, to allow your minds the wonderful experience of working with concrete objects that are easier for the brains of your audience to digest. Another way of saying this is give your mind permission to delve into the details of things which could mean more work for your mind but result in ease of understanding by your readers.

Management gurus exhort us to begin any activity with the end in mind. This is another way of saying that we should not get mired in what we are doing that we somehow get lost and forget what we are aiming at. There are always two parties to the communication process: the speaker and the listener. The speaker knows more about the thoughts that he wants to impart to the listener. Thus, it would be easier for him to adjust his communication to approximate the capacity of the listener to understand the thoughts rather than the other way around.

It would not be logical for us to wait until the recipient is ready to understand the meaning that we want to impart and then repeat the communication of our ideas the way that we want it to be. It is the responsibility of the one who originates the ideas to fashion his thoughts in such a way that his audience would more readily understand them. The speaker should ensure that he uses a style and language that is appropriate to the listener for communication to be successful.

What you want to say is more important than the mechanics of how you say it. Another way of saying this is that being understood and accomplishing the goal of the communication process is more important than making your writing grammatically correct. Grammar is the accepted way of using a language to ensure that everyone is using a similar structure when communicating in that language. Using the language correctly helps in making sure that your message is well understood by your audience. But getting mired on grammatical issues would only detract you from focusing on your message which is the primary reason why you are communicating. When the concern for grammar impedes the flow of your ideas, your goal of becoming a good writer would be put in jeopardy.

There may be a psychological factor that is preventing you from becoming a good writer. You might have had a bad experience early in your life that has to do with the way you write. You could have had a traumatic experience relating to something that you have written which led you to conclude that you would never become a good writer. That idea in turn has become a self-fulfilling prophesy and now you get stuck whenever you start to write.

No one is born a good writer although life experiences could make one develop a self-introspection that could help one become a good writer. In such a case, I would suggest that you take a giant mental leap and start believing that you're on your way to becoming a good writer. Gather all experiences, ideas, and thoughts contrary to this maxim and dismiss them as false and not in line with your true nature. Start writing and constantly improve your writing until you are satisfied with the result.

Be more introspective. Talk to yourself about things that you care about. Learn how to express feelings in words. Review the knowledge that you have come to know and express them in exact language. Try imagining something good that you have written. How does it look? How long is it? Look closer and imagine what sentences have you written there. Now make that idea a reality and start writing it now.

Make continuous learning an integral part of your mental construct. Make it a goal to know as much as you can about a certain topic that interests you. Imagine a certain process and list down the steps needed to be undertaken for that process to be done. Be inquisitive. Be interested in how things work. Learn to ask questions. You can create an article by first listing the questions that you want answered. Writing the article is just a matter of answering those questions one after another. You need not concern yourself with how your article is to be organized because by organizing the questions in a logical order, you already have organized your article.

Reward yourself when you have written something that you think is an outstanding work. Multiply that kind of work several times until you realize that you have now become a good writer. Reinforce the thought that you are a good writer. Never let a thought or idea that is contrary to this belief stay in your mind. Think of how you can still improve your writing skills and undertake it. Realize that you're on your way to becoming the best writer you can be and no one can stop you now.

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