Thursday, August 25, 2005

Facing the Blank Page

Facing the Blank Page

Time to blog again at last! It makes me very happy to be able to find time to blog. Blogging is a "sharpening the saw" activity which I consider essential to my mental health. When I started my blog, my main intention was to use it as an avenue to practice my writing. The only way to beat writer's block is to treat writing as an activity that is as natural as eating or sleeping. It shouldn't be a big deal.

Everyone has a right to write. Let us not be deterred by our poor command of the language nor our inability to express ourselves clearly. The way we write reflects the way we think. Not only that, writing actually aids the thinking process. For instance, we can only do mathematics mentally up to a certain point; at some stage we have to write down all the symbols and equations on paper so that we can analyze them visually. Through writing, thoughts are "physicalized".

Analytical people are used to listing down all the pros and cons on paper before making any important decisions. Once things are put into writing, they become clear; one's thoughts are not muddled anymore because they have been transformed from the intangible world of the mind into the realm of physical space and time. Thoughts, when written down, are sequenced and spatially grouped into sentences, paragraphs and chapter, allowing us to see inter-relationships better. As a result, we are able to weigh things more objectively and put things in its proper perspective.

Writing and reading--the two "R"s--are very basic and essential skills which we learn eversince we were old enough to be sent to the nursery school. Isn't it surprising that many of us don't even bother to indulge in either of these activities anymore? We would rather spend laborious hours at the driving range perfecting our golf swing than to squeeze in half-an-hour a day polishing up our writing skill. Why is that so?

I don't know. Maybe writing seems such a dull activity. But I do know that the inability to write well is a major handicap to many people in the working world. There are many who could speak very well, even in front of large audiences but they freeze up mentally when faced with a blank sheet of paper.

I love opening up my "blank paper" --the w.bloggar front-end, and challenge myself to fill it up with words. You simply start by typing in some nonsensical words...the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog...and suddenly thoughts start pouring in and before you knew it, you've already finished your few hundred word posting for the day!

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