How To Right Write

How To Right Write

Words: Dr Rajgopal NIDAMBOOR

Everybody can write — no two ways about it. Writing is meditation. Writing is therapeutic. It can heal emotional distress, moody blues, anxiety, among other things — and, elevate your life and also career.

Don’t you write letters, mails, and/or ‘script’ your presentations? You do.

You have it in you — only thing is you need to cultivate the habit, and develop it. Not necessarily for a career in writing, or journalism — which you could, if you want to.

Writing well, at any point in time, helps — it helps you to make a better impression of a good impression.

To be a writer, in your own ‘write,’ you need not always aim for magical, flowing prose, long-winded phrases, metaphors, or stylistic connotations. They are not required — unless you are writing a literary meditation, which is not always required in a real-life, or workplace, situation.

If you have useful connotations in your bag — great. Nevertheless, you need to be cautious and also know how best to convey them and your overall message to the reader. So, recognise —

  • How to spell the words you like, or prefer
  • How to choose from among identical words with diverse meanings
  • How to interpose
  • How to put the parts of a sentence together in a way that makes ‘good’ sense.

All this will help you to draw the reader’s attention, and promote better communication.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

Practice, of course, is most essential for a satisfactory, consistent outcome. Because, without constant practice and/or ‘grounding,’ not only will you have problems communicating — you may, without knowing, produce ‘side-splitting’ results.

Read. Read. Read.

The best way to cultivate good writing is by reading the sort of writing you want to develop — in your area of activity.

To get going, thereafter, you must, again, primarily pay great attention to detail — and, to what you read. And, most importantly, allocate quality time for it — with devotion and passion.

Well, if you don’t do that, it’s like doing an activity without zest, love, or fun. In which case, you won’t also know yourself.

So — the first thing you should be, as a writer/presenter, is — excited. And, enthusiastic about what you speak, or write, or are writing.

Most important: you ought to ‘understand’ who you are writing for — your fellow associates, boss, or penning a general memo/circular, or business letter/presentation, a newspaper article, or your own blog.

Avoid Errors

You should always follow the fundamental rules of grammar and syntax at all times. You’d also know, for instance, what is slang, and what is not.

Remember — a copy of the good, old Wren & Martin High School English Grammar & Composition, read carefully, and put to practice, will sure help you avoid the most common errors.

We are not asking you to go back to school — but, the book is a good starting point to cultivate good, effective writing.

If you want to expand on your general, specialised, or business and professional writing abilities, just think of any of a host of books, including videos and podcasts, available on the subject. Select the one you think fulfils your needs — not someone else’s ‘pitch.’

If you are looking at the prospect of a good education in traditional usage and writing, you’d get hooked to Malcolm Beazley and Grahame Marr’s The Writer’s Handbook. A useful ‘toolkit’ for using clear, accessible language, recognising problems, and gaining control over your writing, The Writer’s… is, in actuality, a practical workbook for writing tasks in all subjects.

Points to Remember 

  • No matter what you wish to achieve with your usage of words, language is your only real ‘instrument.’ It can make, or mar, your image and career
  • You have to be the plumber, the carpenter, the engineer, the doctor etc., of the [writing] application — no more, no less
  • You should also not expect to successfully construct ‘writing,’ without first learning the written language — your basic tool
  • You’d also need to take into context the many differences between the spoken and the written language. Don’t mix them up
  • Apart from being able to sculpt good, decent prose, try to be proficient to write and present your view, work, or project, speech and presentation, in a manner that is riveting to the eye and mind. Most important: avoid the usage of too many exclamatory marks. They are jarring to the eye, also mind, especially when the ‘surprise element’ is already in place.

12- Steps to Better Writing

  1. You need to sculpt your letter/article/blog/memo/presentation/project report etc., — make it the best. Let the ideas evolve. Look at it, re-look at it — if need be, after a few hours’ gap, if you’ve the time for it
  2. Rewrite — if you find the style does not meet, or suit, your needs, or house-style. Amending a work is a good sign, and even if it means that your boss wants you to re-do the thing, it tells you a subtle fact — they like your work, but would need something that suits their, or your editor’s, requirement
  3. You’ve to meet deadlines. There’s just no other way. If you succeed in nine assignments, and fail to deliver the tenth on time, you may lose your standing, if not reputation. Hence, know what to take up, and what not to
  4. Know your strengths — the ability to complete a given task on time. Also, don’t you ever discolour your image. Missing deadlines is unprofessional. Don’t you ever get that ‘tag’
  5. A ‘block’ that disturbs the flow of writing can come along anytime. It is, indeed, a fact. It happens to all of us. Sometime. Just relax. Think of it as a passing phase. Like a batsman’s lean trot. You’ll be back in form, sooner than you’d think
  6. Interruptions are the spice of life. You’ve to attend to your work, home duties, family needs, your own needs etc., and for a coffee break. Also, your telephone may ring at the wrong time, or somebody may need your help at short notice. Relax. Don’t get worked up
  7. You should have a dictionary at hand, and also a thesaurus — to express yourself better, and also minimise the possibilities of using the same words over and over again
  8. Remember: everyone’s different. Also, remember you may have your own fan club and critics just as well. Take the smooth with the rough, and vice versa
  9. Patience holds the key. People don’t respond, instantly, always. Sometimes, you may need to wait for days on end before you get the word that your work/project is through. Be polite
  10. Hum the good old Beatles song: “The long and winding road…” Think that you’ve been there before, even if you have had a potholed ride. It’s only through perseverance [also, struggle] that rewards reach their fruition. So, don’t you ever give up
  11. Try to be always animated, eager about what you write, or do, whatever the nature of your idea, or flow etc., — whether it is big, or small.
  12. Also, remember that language is your best toolkit — keep on improving it, every day.
Dr RAJGOPAL NIDAMBOOR, PhD, is a wellness physician-writer-editor, independent researcher, critic, columnist, author and publisher. His published work includes hundreds of newspaper, magazine, web articles, essays, meditations, columns, and critiques on a host of subjects, eight books on natural health, two coffee table tomes and an encyclopaedic treatise on Indian philosophy. He is Chief Wellness Officer, Docco360 — a mobile health application/platform connecting patients with Ayurveda, homeopathic and Unani physicians, and nutrition therapists, among others, from the comfort of their home — and, Editor-in-Chief, ThinkWellness360.

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