Writing Better – part 3

by juliusmsanz

This post is going to focus on one very simple thing: to write better you have to read and be willing to try to write.

I had some planned activities with the kids where I volunteer that focused on reading and on creative writing. All very simple exercises designed to stimulate the mind and brainstorm. It was a complete and utter failure because the kids simply didn’t want to do those activities. What is up with the youth of today? Now I sound like a grumpy old man, great. Truth be told they are more focused on other activities and prefer the internet over the great outdoors or even something as simple as reading a book. Not even the story of Michael Strogoff by Jules Verne in comic edition was enough to arouse some sort of interest. I’m not saying they should read everyday, but at least they should make an effort to read every week. And then they nothing about literature or some other basic subject, of course they couldn’t know anything, they didn’t read.

 

 michel-strogoff

Not even the slightest effort was made into trying to listen when I was trying to talk about hte simple exercises for them to write something. And then when classes start and they have to do their homework they come to me because they don’t know this or that, because they don’t understand this expression, because they can’t analyze that segment of the text. I begin to wonder if I should help them at all. One can’t magically improve just like that, time and effort are always required if you want to take the next step, if you want to reach the next goal.

This isn’t meant to take that I’ve lost faith, just let me wait and see how things turn out. Let me give you another quick example. This kid I know failed miserably in a subject, it was like he was beyond teaching, so this time around I give him a big exercise book with certain instructions. In order to meet a quota, he has to do the entire book, he needs to solve around 8 pages of exercises each day. After three or four days I learned that he finished 3 pages. If he doesn’t pick up the pace he’s going to do even worse this time around. This feeling in my gut tells me he won’t make it, and I should stop feeling sorry over him.

I’m a big believer in the concept of Karma: you reap what you sow.

Expect a new haiku very soon and something about Creating Characters tomorrow, I still don’t know what direction to take. What would you like to see?

Have a nice day!

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