Writing is very hard!
It is worse for you and I because we have learnt to write the wrong way. I have met with tons of people who feel the need to write, who claim they love to write but have never been able to get themselves to write.
The greatest dissatisfaction comes when we eventually muster the courage to write, we jump on our seats, facing our computer only for nothing to come out. We know what to write, we just do not know how to write it and the struggle continues.
Take a look at the italicized below. Are you familiar?
TAKE NOTE OF THESE INSTRUCTIONS!
1. Answer ONE question only.
2. All questions in the essay section carry equal marks.
3. Your answer should NOT BE LESS THAN 450 WORDS.
4. You are advised to spend about 50 minutes on this section.
I am sure you are familiar and nostalgic right now. This is the initial instruction given to students during an English examination essay. Two things in the above instruction has changed how we see writing forever
- Limitation of the number of words
- Shortage of time
These two things are very fundamental to a pleasurable writing process. Deciding to limit them is what has created the scarcity mentality in a lot of people including you and I.
The writing process demands a lot of freedom of expression. A limit on the number of words and time is against that freedom of expression. In a bid to meet their demands, we churned out low quality ideas in a very short period of time with limited number of words only to be marked down by the teacher.
The idea of marking our write-ups has become the reason why a lot of people chase after perfectionism while writing. In other not to be on that chase, a lot of people have decided to stay away from writing. Marks are a way to make us think we are not good enough. We begin to focus on what we did wrong and when it is repeated, we feel inferior. The moment we graduated, we never looked back at it
Here is another spoiler below
1.Your school fees have been increased astronomically and your father has threatened to transfer you to another school. Write a letter to him giving, at least three reasons why you would like to remain in your present school.
2.Write an article for publication in a national newspaper on the importance of education in national development
3.The quality of food prepared for students in your school has become very poor. Write a letter to the Principal complaining about this and explaining ways in which this situation can be remedied.
4.You are the chief speaker in a debate on the topic: “Education is not as important as riches.” Write your argument for or against the topic.
5.Write a story ending with the statement: “Indeed it was the biggest lesson of my life”
The above are sample questions given to us in school. These questions were shit! I hated it. You hated it. We all hated it.
You know why? They don’t interest us. We don’t care about these things. Take the first question for instance, it is so unnatural to write to my father because they have increased the school fees. He is my father for God sake! I only need to get home and talk to him.
The second question is of no interest to me. I have no concern writing about the importance of education. It doesn’t intrigue me. I want to write about more interesting stuff like marketing, creativity, leadership and all those stuff.
The same goes for the other topics. We want to write about what interests us. Some want to write on relationship, family, space, solar system, science, and all of those beautiful things we obsess over. The idea of a person choosing what we are to write is a dead idea and it has made us hate writing the more.
Aside from the fact that we were not writing what we care about, the writing process was monotonous. The teacher was in control of everything including the feedback. We did not write for people we cared about neither did we receive feedback from them.
To cap it all up, we had voluminous notes to copy. See Biology note! We wrote like we wanted to die! For God’s sake it is the same thing in the text book you’ve asked us to buy. Why are we rewriting it?
What about agric and those nonsense diagrams or economics and those charts?
We saw writing as work! As herculean. As stressful!
We left school, hating the idea of writing. Thus, stripping us of the benefits therein.
Writing is difficult, no doubt but it shouldn’t be this hard for us.
…to be continued