Writing is such a powerful tool. It is an art form, a vehicle for communication, and an opening to both the mind and the soul. But it is a disappearing art form. I get several emails each week from clients, other business people, and co-workers and it astonishes me how many of these are incoherent or poorly written. Every sentence seems rushed. There is very little thought put into writing anymore.
Texting. With all the new social media lingo, real words are getting shortened to just letters and symbols. You’ll find abbreviations and emojis replacing actual thoughts. I’ll admit that it’s a lot easier to communicate on Instagram posts using these shortcuts, but this isn’t the problem. These ways of writing (if you can even call it that) are replacing the way people write in other situations, not just on social media or in a text.
Teaching. In America and maybe other countries too, writing is losing. It’s more important that you re-learn World War I for the 10th time since entering school and that you know how to memorize these 250 SAT words than it is to write. I remember learning towards taking tests. Every curriculum is skewed to teach how to pass a test rather than to actually learn. And since tests don’t focus heavily on writing, it’s struggling to stay relevant.
Technology. Why do I need to know how to spell if my phone can correct it for me? With the ever-increasing technology, people’s writing skills are dwindling. Not just that, but people seem to be reading less often. They’re more intrigued by their apps and tv shows than sitting down and reading a book. This doesn’t seem to be an issue now, but the demand of books is starting to slow.
Why We Should Care
Knowledge. Writing is a wonderful way to expand your mind and the minds of those who read your work. Whether you’re writing a novel, a blog, or a research paper there is always something to be learned from it. Sometimes we are pressured to do the minimum required or we will be called a “nerd” and shamed by our peers. A lot of people think that if we ask more questions we are given more work, something we already have too much of. So we shy away from learning and those things that others don’t enjoy as much as us. Reading different writings opens our eyes to knowledge we may only seek alone.
Freedom. When you write, you are given a very unique opportunity. You may write whatever you wish however you wish. It’s so rare to be given such a vast amount of freedom to let your creativity and passion shine through. Too often we are restricted in what we can and cannot do. You’re told “that’s stupid” or “this is more important” or even “nobody cares what you think,” which is all opinion and therefore cannot be true. Writing allows us to free ourselves from the toxicity imposed upon us by society and other people.
Peace. There’s a wonderful calming relief that occurs once you finish a piece of writing. Even if people don’t particularly enjoy it or react to it, you feel this rush of accomplishment. If you’re writing about something to help with stress-relief (I do this sometimes) then you immediately feel better. Writing helps ease your mind and can truly help your well-being.
How We Can Help
Start caring. Every movement starts with a person who cares. Make it known on your Facebook, blog, or other social media profiles that you care about writing. Don’t let other people kill writing. Be passionate, spread the word, and keep on writing. Show appreciation to those who also write and make an effort to use actual words in place of emojis.