Some time ago, I had a thought come to me. And it is this: the more you’re exposed to something, the more “natural” it feels, the less it feels like a ‘skill’ you should work on developing.
I feel this is the case with Writing. It is so ubiquitous because of social media – people write all day now – that it is easy to think: Hey! I am good enough at this thing. I don’t need any practice.
In that sort of thinking lies a tiny bit of danger. If I think writing comes naturally and it is something I do all the time when I chat to my friends through WhatsApp and doesn’t need any work, I fall into the trap of seeing what I write as good.
Where as it just might not be.
I come across many people who feel they don’t need any improving in how they write, or speak, for that matter. But when I engage in conversation with them, I often find that the opposite it true. Something that ought to be easy, such as correct spelling, becomes a huge thing. A huge hindrance standing in the way of flawless communication.
Of course, this will affect you even in professional settings. There are people who get upset when sent email messages littered with spelling and grammatical errors. I know a few whose reasons are: “If you send an email like that, it tells me that you don’t take me seriously. You don’t value my time; you just wrote the message and sent it in haste without the bother to double check.”
This sort of perspective has serious consequences in that there are doors that will not open to you because there are people who cannot stand bad writing.
I also can’t.
And not because I am a professional Writer and are pedantic around grammar and spelling, but because having to read something while working hard to make sense of it is strenuous. I can happily do without that much work.
Also, while I am it, I need to emphasise that writing and speaking well are not devices reserved for professional Writers and Speakers. They are skills everyone needs to have in order to communicate much more effectively.
Think about it this way. Conversations are what we have all the time. Conversation is ubiquitous. So, doesn’t it make perfect sense to make an effort to get better at the very thing you spend a lot of your life time doing?
Besides the fact that I do it for a living, this is the reason I work hard to be good at writing and speaking – I want my human connections to be very strong. Genuine. Eloquent. I want them to be about pure emotion – love, care and full understanding, instead of confusion.
I recently sent out a tweet that went: Being CONVERSATIONALLY CAPTIVATING is the ultimate goal for me. Genuine human connections are an amazing thing to experience.