Today, when I opened the blog, I was surprised to see 33 posts already. Some of the entries are brilliant – the kind you would read and think ‘Wish I could write like that’ or else ‘Why didn’t I think of this before?’
I will not call myself a writer. You don’t become a writer because you know to spell a few words. It’s like saying everybody is a singer. Everyone who speaks can sing – but only some are good at it. Unlike singing, however, writing can be acquired.
I’m sure all of us know the secret to good writing. Reading. Here’s a small story. I turned into a PG Wodehouse reader somewhere in my high school. I say PG Wodehouse reader, because for a long while, I would not read anything else. And before that, I regret, I did very little reading. I’d feel more confident if I wrote soon after reading a PG – and this is when I read it in one stretch. For some reason, it seemed easier to find words and get that ‘flow’ we all seek.
It still works that way. And it needn’t be a PG. It can be any good writer, as long as you don’t take long breaks in your reading. I keep asking people like Sabz and Manu how they write so well – what do they read? They have both taken a lot of effort in developing the command over language they have. I know they do not have to rush to get a book and read it every time they sit to write. What they have read over the years have equipped them with the tools they use so brilliantly now. It is not just them. Any good writer – dear Miss Mercedes for one, am sure has done her bit of reading.
However, just like you can never finish learning music (Yesudas would tell you that story of looking ahead at the big vast sea called music and after 70 years of swimming, he still has a long long way to go), you can never complete a course on language (I don’t mean the one at college). Manu reads, Sabin reads, Mercedes reads, and anyone who hopes to be a writer MUST read.
All that on reading has made me very guilty. I will make my next post after I have read at least one book.
Before I stop, can we all take up an assignment? On posting about what we are reading now. Or making a promise on how much you would read the following year? No one is going to break your leg if you break the promise. Well, may be, except your English teacher :-).