Tell Me Something I Don’t Know
I have been a writer ever since I could read. From day one of learning to write in school, teachers have shown me how to put words together, how to add proper punctuation, and how to intelligently compose what it is that I am trying to say. I know the writing process backwards and forwards (brainstorming, drafting, revising, editing, and producing a final draft,) and I know the structure that a paper should follow (introduction, body, and conclusion.) Writing is just another formula that I have been taught to use, and until now, this formula has gotten me an A on every writing assignment that I have done.
However, the formula that has been engraved into my mind is no longer acceptable to pass me on as a good writer. The skills that I have acquired from my educators have only been a building block to good writing. Now I must take my writing to the next level by discovering what truly makes writing wonderful. To answer this question, I have searched deep down inside myself, sorting through the last eleven years, to find the missing piece of the formula. My discovery was surprising, yet simple. Good writing is something that I could never learn from an instructor: it is something that everyday experiences have taught me all along.
Since I began writing while first learning to read, the words that other authors had written become my foundation for good writing. I have experienced both good writing and bad writing enough to know that good writing is more enjoyable for the reader. When I read literature that is similar to something that I have read before, what the author is saying is no longer of interest to me; however, when I read literature that speaks in a unique way about a topic or speaks of a new topic entirely, I am immediately captured and eager to see what the author has to say. Just as what I read should be intriguing, what I write should engage the audience.
This is the first, most important concept to understand while writing. If the audience is not interested in the topic, then the paper has not served its purpose. In order to avoid mundane writing, writers must put their own thoughts and experience into what they transcribe. This is where life’s lessons come into play. Every person is unique. Everyone comes from a different past and has experienced life differently. These experiences are what form the thoughts and emotions that each person has; these thoughts and emotions are what other people are eager to know. Thus, by pouring these thoughts and emotions into writing, an author can add to their readers’ knowledge and broaden their views.
Take the works of J.K Rowling for example. In her...