By: Hendrikus Arianto Ola Peduli
English language student in Nusa Cendana University
“Never stop writing for those who have started it. However, if you haven’t started writing, start it! because by writing, we are sharing someting, inspiring others and thinking about something new.”
Writing is not a new thing for everyone. Teachers, lecturers, students, farmers and anyone, certainly, ever, and may continue to write for their daily needs. However, does everyone know, the benefits of writing? And, can everyone write well? In this paper, I will discuss these two questions. I will discuss the two questions in two parts, namely: the importance of writing and how to write well.
Why We Write?
Writing is a very good medium for expression. A person writes because he or she wants to express ideas that are piled in his mind. Feelings of anger, sadness, and pleasure are also expressed in a writing that has meaning and has inspiration.
There is a saying, ‘write it down! if you want to be known to the world’. Understanding that meaning, many people go into the world of writing because they want to be known to the world and are known by their own country.
This desire makes the writers work hard, process their ideas, to become a famous writing and even phenomenal writing. Writing activities are very important in human life because they can help a person practice thinking critically, express ideas and solve problems. ‘Writing is one form of thinking that is a tool to make other people (readers) think.’ (Imron Rosidi, 2009: 3)
By writing, someone is able to express various knowledge possessed in a writing, both in the form of essays, articles, scientific reports, short stories, poetry, and so on.
Not only that, Writing can also help someone to think critically and logically in processing the insight or knowledge that he has. In essence, writing can have many positive effects on the life of a writer.
Writing is not a spontaneous skill or acquired easily, in fact, it is viewed as ‘probably the most difficult thing to do in language’ (Nunan, 1999: 271).
For many people, writing is one difficult thing because being a writer must master all the principles of writing in total. A writer must not only master the principles of writing, insight and knowledge, master the rules of language, skillfully arrange sentences in a paragraph, but also must know the principles of thinking (ability to think critically).
A writer must have various information about what will be wrote. This information can be obtained from reading and listening from various sources.
Looking at these principles, is writing difficult? Not. Writing will be one of the things needed in life if we work hard to learn to write. Familiarize ourselves to continue writing. Every morning, afternoon and night. Every time. Everything in the world cannot be achieved in an instant way.
Everything that is achieved is certain, through painful effort and hard work. According to Tans in his writing, ‘Belajar dari Paskah’ explains that, ‘Through sweat that flows: bother first, have fun later. or no pain, no gain. Only through steely determination and hard work that “hurts,” then we, anyone, get something. That means, there is no success without sweat. Without strong will and without struggling all out’. (2019:1)
Being a writer is the same as Tans said in his writing. Being a writer cannot be achieved in an instant way. Someone must try and work hard to be a good writer.
A famous writer must have felt the pain of writing. Doing mistakes that result in failure must be found in the learning process of writing. But remember. Don’t give up because being a good writer must go through painful effort and hard work.
We must continue to learn and explore many things about writing. We must also accept criticism for our writing. Either criticism that builds or drops (which is painful) must be accepted with positive thoughts. Through these things, I think someone become a famous writer who is even glorified.
How can be a good writer?
How can be a good writer? This question is not ordinary for a new writer. When someone wants to write, the question must be answered by finding out from various sources and media. In this paper I will discuss a little how to become a good writer. There are several ways to become a good writer:
First, if you want to become a writer, mastering the principles of writing alone is not enough without being balanced with broad insight.
Extensive insight can be obtained by reading. Reading is a must in the world of writing. Reading books, magazines, and articles is very useful for a writer to add insight.
Reading can minimize the difficulties of a writer when writing. There is a saying that, “If you want to know the world, read it! If you want to be known to the world, write it.”
The two sentences in the text, implicitly explain the relationship between writing and reading. Where, writing requires a broad insight that most of the insights can be obtained by reading books, magazines and articles. And, without writing, nothing can be read. Books, articles and other writings will not be available or published without writing.
Writing and reading are two skills that need each other. ‘When you have read all kinds of written by writers with diverse styles and approaches, your inner ear gets exposed to an amazing range of ways to perpetrate a sentence.’ (Yagoda Ben, 2013: 14)
Second, humans are social beings. In their daily lives, humans need each other. Admonishing each other and reminding each other are things that are common in human life every day.
In writing also the same. If someone wants to be a writer, he must ask for help from others. Ask other people to read and correct their writing. Being a good writer someone must learn from others.
Someone must let his writing be criticized by people who are more skilled in writing. When a person leaves his writing criticized by others, at that time he will learn many things about his writing from the critic.
Third, to be a good writer, someone must write every day. This cannot be ignored. You cannot be good without practice. Continuously. Even if only for a few minutes, you need to write every day. Save a strong determination in yourself to continue writing. No stopping. Try every time.
With that strong determination, surely, you will be a good and famous writer. ‘But you have to crawl before you walk, and walk before you run. And you have to be able to put together a clear and at least borderline graceful sentence, and to link that sentence with another one, before you can expect to make like David Foster Wallace.’ (Yagoda Ben, 2013: 4)
Fourth, review continuously. This is indeed difficult for beginner writers. But to get a good writing this must be done. This is very important. Review or rewrite (Selecting word choices, looking back at the sentence structure and paragraph arrangement in writing) is one form of the author’s efforts in correcting his own writing. Self correction. When someone rewrite his writing, he also have to imagine the target of the reader from the article or writing that we wrote.
The author will produce a better writing if through this stage. ‘The best way to measure or think about the badness of a sentence, or an entire piece of writing, is to imagine the effect it has on someone who reads it.’ (Yagoda Ben, 2013: 6)
Fifth, motivation or encouragement from within a writer must exist. A writer will not write a book, an article and any writing if there is no encouragement or strong motivation from within a writer. A person who wants to write, must motivate himself to read, dig up information to find ideas and then can produce a good writing.
The process is carried out because of motivation. The lack of motivation in a student will create a feeling of laziness which in turn builds a sense of lack of confidence to create a writing.
When we are lazy to write, we can pause or do it slowly. Being a writer we don’t need to write quickly and totally. We only need to write it every day even if it’s only a few minutes.
If we want to become writers, we have to be like Jennifer Egan. Do you know Jennifer Egan? Jennifer Egan is a famous novelist born in Chicago. Jennifer is a woman who is very close to the world of writing. Without writing he felt something was missing from his life. We must motivate ourselves to continue writing. Everyday. Egan said that:
“When I’m not writing I feel an awareness that something’s missing. If I go a long time, it becomes worse. I become depressed. There’s something vital that’s not happening. A certain slow damage starts to occur. I can coast along awhile without it, but then my limbs go numb. Something bad is happening to me, and I know it. The longer I wait, the harder it is to start again.” (2013:27).
Writing is a skill that is very important and very useful for someone. By writing, one is able to express various knowledge possessed in a writing, both in the form of essays, articles, scientific reports, and so on.
Not only that, writing can also help someone to think critically and logically in processing their insights or knowledge. In essence, writing can have many positive effects on the life of a writer.
Being a writer, it’s not an easy thing. Someone must work hard. Practice regularly. Tirelessly. Writing must be a part of someone’s life. A person must be able to feel something missing from him when he doesn’t write. That way, someone become a well-known and glorified writer.
Imron Rosidi, (2009). Menulis Siapa Takut. Yogyakarta: Kanisius.
Saptiady Ridwan, (2015). Pentingnya Menulis. Yogyakarta: Kompasiana
Maran, M. (2013). Why We Write. United State: Penguin Group
Nunan, D. (1999) Second Language Teaching & Learning. Boston: Heinle & Heinle.
Yagoda, B. (2013) How to not Write Bad. New York: Penguin Group
Tans Felix, 2019. Belajar dari Paskah. Indonesiakoran., accessed on May 6th , 2019