Music, movies, readings…but where is writing?

We always talk about the four skills when dealing with languages: listening, speaking, reading and writing. This last one is, for some reason and, many times, for any reason, blatantly neglected and treated as unimportant.

What is it that makes writing boring for some and/or difficult for others?

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There might be other explanations, but one is certainly the fact that in order to write we have to start, develop and finish something. Not so with the other skills: we listen and enjoy; we read and learn; we watch telly or see a film and get involved with what’s happening; we speak and see what the reaction is and rely on the other part to help with the communication process. Although speaking causes some fear and blockages, it seems to be easier to chat for some minutes than to write a brief note.

Writing starts within

When we are writing we are in charge. Even though we can rewrite and delete, we are still left with a big task. We write for others to read and the readers are looking for something. Writing has to reach a destination that is in the writer’s mind regardless of whether personal interaction will ever happen. It is a creative process, but not a very interactive one. The interaction is within one’s mind and knowledge and life. Others are considered within these limits and perceptions.

The role of writing

You may be thinking ‘Oh, I do not need writing; I do not write and my English is great. I learn vocabulary and improve my grammar through the other skills.’

The kind of learning that writing provides is far more reaching than one can imagine. When putting pen to paper – or finger to keyboard – the words have to be picked, chewed, tasted and tested. Each word counts; each sentence has life in itself. When we are selecting, trying and adventuring ourselves in writing, everything is possible. All senses are used in the effort to convey a message.

However, even in the middle of a creative and crazy piece of text, we often thirst for something more. It might be that word that we do not remember or that expression that we do not know yet, but behold we are about to investigate. And this kind of learning, I guarantee, will not only remain but also trigger other things in your mind. A journey into discovery awaits you when you write.

Next time I will share some tips to motivate you and help you to put your thoughts on paper. Or on the screen.

Start practicing your writing by leaving a comment below!

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Erica De Monaco Lowry

Erica De Monaco Lowry has been living in Ireland since 2008. She is a teacher, an interpreter, a translator, a tour guide and an insatiable learner. Her favorite pastimes include reading, travelling, socialising and catching up with her family.

58 comentários

  • 03/01/13  
    João B. L. Ghizoni diz: 1

    Hi, Erica!

    What a nice text! Congratulations!

    I’ve taught writing (as well as the other skills, of course), and I think the most important thing is to convince to learner that organizing the outlines is the success to writing well. Many learners simply say they don’t know what to write about, or they don’t know how to start and how to develop their text. So, I usually tell them that if they make a small brainstorming for ideas on the topic for the different paragraphs, they’ll certainly be able to write a well-structured text. Well, a good text obviously depends on more things than just the structure (vocabulary, grammar, punctuation…), but that is another topic, right?

    About your text, just one little comment (in order to avoid doubts, especially from the low-intermediate level students): in the first line of the sixth paragraph you put the word “that” where you should have put “than”. I know it is simply a typo, but it might confuse learners.

    Keep up your nice work with such great contributions here at EE.

    • 04/01/13  
      Flávia Magalhães diz:

      ***Alessandro: o João tem razão: 6º parágrafo, o correto é “The kind of learning that writing provides is far more reaching thaN one can imagine. “

    • 04/01/13  
      Alessandro Brandão diz:

      Texto editado! Obrigado João e Flávia pela correção.

      Abs,

    • 06/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Thank you , Joao. This is a very common typo for me. I also type ‘then’ instead of ‘than’ many types. I correct most of them when I’m editing the texts, but some go unnoticed. My bad. Regarding the tips for writing = I also touch on the outlines in the next article. Thanks for your nice words and encouragement.

    • 06/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Thanks for the correction, Alessandro. ;-)

  • 03/01/13  
    Caroline diz: 2

    Great article. I’ve always had problems when I’m writing. I don’t even like to write in Portuguese but I know I have to develop this skill.
    Looking forward to the next article.

    • 06/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Thanks for the correction in the text, Alessandro!

    • 06/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Hi Caroline, you’ll enjoy the tips. Prepare to enjoy writing!

  • 03/01/13  
    Jackson Santos diz: 3

    Thank you Erica about your text.

    I agree that writing is very important for our development, i will try writing more words the next time.

    See you.

    • 06/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      That’s a great start Jackson. See you.

  • 03/01/13  
    Inácio Semedo diz: 4

    Good post.
    At least in my case, the problem is creativity. I never know what should I write and I always end up frustrated.

    • 06/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Hi, Inacio. Creativity is something that you always can work on. Pay attention to everything. We always have some ideas and opinions about the world around us. Put them together with your readings and knowledge and writing won’t be a frustating exercise. :-)

  • 03/01/13  
    Eric Cruz diz: 5

    Great post! It helps us a lot. Reading these texts, at least me, learn so many new things. I am enjoying this Web site. See you!

    • 06/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Great to know that, Eric. :-)

  • 03/01/13  
    Nazaré diz: 6

    This is very important to all us what want lear english.
    Thank you

    • 06/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Hi, Nazare. I’m glad that it was good for you. :-)

  • 03/01/13  
    Rogerio T. Ramos diz: 7

    It was a really useful article; mainly because it leads us to think a little more about creating new things, which is possible when you write something. The same way I was impacted by this article, which was very well-written by the author. Congratulations!

    • 06/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Thanks a mil. Rogerio!

  • 03/01/13  
    Claudio Victor diz: 8

    I do need to practice my writing skills. Sometimes I know what I want to express through words but I always forget the right word or expression to be used. I’m looking forward to reading the next post about our writing skills

    • 06/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Hi, Claudio. Many times I face exactly the same problem that you do. Words simply don’t come to me. That’s why we have to keep reading as much as we can so that the vocabulary becomes more and more a matter of choice. :-)

  • 04/01/13  
    Michele diz: 9

    Great post! I don´t like to write because its really very difficult to me. When writing I have to remember to many things(like words, verbs, adverbs) that sometimes I just can´t remember. So I give up trying to write anything.Anyways, tks for the tips! I can´t wait the next post.

    • 06/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Hi, Michele. Don’t be so concerned with the form. Too much of rules can be a killer when it comes to learn a language. You’ll enjoy the tips in the next article. :-)

  • 04/01/13  
    Joana diz: 10

    I’ve been learning English by myself for about eight years now. It was hard at the beginning but I can now speak fluently and write properly – actually writing is way easier than talking at my point of view. Message me if you would like some tips on autodidacticism. :-)

    • 06/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Hi, Joana. I believe writing can become easier if you practise it more than speaking. But if we are to give the same attention to each skill, it’s hard to talk about them in terms of how difficult or easy they are. They all must be considered very important. When writing we have some advantages: we can correct, delete, rewrite. But it is more elaborate: it is an exercise that demands constantly practice if one is pursuing excellence. Just a small correction: ‘(…)writing is way easier than speaking IN my point of view’. Thanks for your comment. :-)

  • 04/01/13  
    Gabi diz: 11

    Hi, Erica!

    I loved your text and now am looking forward to your next piece of writing.
    Producing a clear and well written text is never an easy task for me.
    It would be great if you could talk a bit more about writing and perhaps share some tips about how to improve our writing skills.

    Gabriela

    • 08/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Keep an eye here, Gabriela.. I’ll bring more writing tips :-)

  • 04/01/13  
    Diego Fernandes diz: 12

    Can anyone translate this sentence into portuguese :
    ” Writing has to reach a destination that is in the writer’s mind regardless of whether personal interaction will ever happen.”
    In fact I dont understand the meaning of the word ever in this sentence.

    • 07/01/13  
      Alessandro Brandão diz:

      Oi Diego,

      Por favor, envie o pedido na seção de tradução do fórum: http://www.englishexperts.com.br/forum/traducao-de-textos-f13.html?sid=8a7c1584a66d01c5bfbd274f5e5079ba

      Bons estudos!

    • 08/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      ‘A escrita precisa chegar a um destino que esta na mente do escritor independente da ocorrencia ou nao de interacao pessoal.’ In this case ‘ever’ is an adverb and it means ‘at any time’. But in order to understand it properly in the sentence it is better to understand the role of the word in the context rather than how you translate it. Take a look at the forum here and other explanations for this word. It’s widely used both in speaking and writing.

  • 04/01/13  
    Ricardo diz: 13

    Great text!! I’ve been studying english for few years and reading this article I could see that writing is one of the skills that I practice less often …. and really, writting we can discover a lot of new words and expressions … so, from now on I’ll try to write more.

    • 08/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      I’m glad you’ve made this decision, Ricardo. :-)

  • 04/01/13  
    Leandro Ricardo S. diz: 14

    Excellent post!
    Thank you, Erica.

    • 08/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      You’re welcome, Leandro. :-)

  • 06/01/13  
    Sil diz: 15

    I have difficult to writing.. I ll like tips to improving writing. Thanks.
    I have beem enjoying your text…It has helped a lot.

    • 08/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      You’ll have more tips here, Sil. Stay tuned. Thanks for your comment. :-)

  • 06/01/13  
    Andressa diz: 16

    So Good ! I agree with u , the written can be one way to learn more , we should write more , because who writes speak so better .

    • 08/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      That’s it, Andressa! :-)

  • 07/01/13  
    Hierofante diz: 17

    Li is comentários acima. Alguns praticantes de inglês não gostam de escrever ou não conseguem redigir. Mas se conseguem pensar, já é o suficiente. Caso
    sejam manetas ou não possuam braços, mirem-se nesses pintores, que, por deficiência física ou paralisia, usam pincéis presos à boca para produzir belos cartões de Natal. O estudante normal nem precisa prender o lápis nos dentes…

    • 08/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Hierofante, obrigada pelo seu comentario. Eu creio q o q atrapalha muito a escrita e justamente um pensamento erroneo. Mas q sim, pode ser radicalmente mudado se pequenos passos forem tomados. Qdo vira um habito, a acao e aprimorada e melhor entendida. Gostei da observacao: ‘O estudante normal nem precisa prender o lápis nos dentes…’ . A maioria de nos tem a mente e o lapis a mao! :-)

  • 07/01/13  
    Nancy diz: 18

    Erica, excellent your text. I like to write, mainly in English. My problem is the doubt about my mistakes and the correction of them.
    Please, send more tips.
    Thank you so much.

    • 08/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      You’re very welcome, Nancy. It’s exactly the doubts and fear of making mistakes that stops great potential writers from flourishing. Hope you’ll find the tips useful as I’ll touch on this subject too. Happy writing! :-)

  • 08/01/13  
    Ana Carolina diz: 19

    I totally agree, I love writing and I identified myself with this text, amazing!
    Has one month that I don’t study English and is so good come back! I love this site s2

    • 10/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Great to know of your excitement, Ana. All the best with your studies! :-)

  • 09/01/13  
    silceia diz: 20

    Hi .Im waiting more tips to improve writing….

  • 09/01/13  
    Bruno Aguiar diz: 21

    Absolutely FANTANTIC!
    You’ve said!!! Many words blow into my mind when i need to write something!
    It reminds me from words that i’ve seen so far and recently as well.
    Incredible how our brains work, and i admit that, for writing this, i’ve thought strongly selecting the words in order to make this little paragraph no senseless! kkkk
    Thank you Erica! Congratulations. Regard.

    • 10/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      It is indeed such a mental work involved in writing. That’s why I believe it is so good! Thanks for your comment, Bruno. :-)

    • 10/01/13  
      Valdira diz:

      Bruno Aguiar you and the child or nephew John Duca de Aguiar.

    • 14/01/13  
      Bruno Aguiar diz:

      No, i’m not Valdira! ;)
      I’m from Bauru-SP, i might have some “distant’ relatives near here! kkkk
      Regars.

  • 10/01/13  
    Nicolas diz: 22

    I know writing very well. I’ve done an English course for two years and in this course I learnt much grammar, more than speaking. But I’ve been trying to improve my speaking and I left this subject aside.

    • 10/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      It’s never too late, Nicolas. But allow me to say that it’s not only grammar that makes a piece good. Sometimes the grammar will not be that good, but the author expresses himself or herself so well that we cannot resist. This is so true that no one needs to be a grammar expert to enjoy reading…and writing! All the success with your writing practice.

  • 10/01/13  
    Write your way to success: 10 tips on writing | Dicas de Inglês diz: 23

    […] we discussed in the previous post (Music, movies, books…but where is writing?) writing seems to be avoided and, therefore, neglected. Yet, more than ever we are writing text […]

  • 10/01/13  
    Felipe diz: 24

    I agree with you Erica, I barely write and I’m learning English reading rap lyrics such as Eminem and I know that is a kind of wrong but I like slangs, what can I do?My way of learn english is incorrect?

    Thanks and congratulations for these tips!

    • 10/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Hi, Felipe. Using songs as a tool to learn more is a great thing, but I have to tell you that Eminem’s songs won’t equip you with great English. He uses ebonics (check more about it, it’s quite interesting), which is a dialect that rappers love. Several words have meanings that you won’t find in any dictionary and if you try to use them with the same meanings you’ll confuse the readers or whoever you’re speaking to (unless they are rappers too). I’m not against learning them, but challenge yourself and find different materials from composers and musicians whose songs will help you learn more good English (that can be understood by everyone, you included). You should be exposed to non-standard English too (it’s out there), but don’t use it if you’re still trying to grasp the basics of the language. Stick to American and British varieties of English. Hope I helped you. All the best!

    • 11/01/13  
      Felipe diz:

      Thanks Erica, You helped a lot!
      And I sought for ebonics, it’s really VERY interesting!!!
      I’ll focus on others composers, thanks again.
      Best regards. :D

  • 10/01/13  
    Valdira diz: 25

    I deal with writing help memorize better

    • 11/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      Hi, Valdira. I believe you meant: ‘ I think writing helps you to memorise more contents.’ Yes, I believe that too. :-)

  • 14/01/13  
    Stan diz: 26

    it’s worth trying from now on…ever!!!
    it is cool!!!
    tks for tips!!!

    • 15/01/13  
      Erica Lowry diz:

      You’re very welcome. Please do try, Stan. :-)