Writing is a Technique

If you are done with your MA or even PhD in Literature, language or linguistics, does it mean you can compose a few lines in a proper way? I am certain, almost none can reply to it in positive.
However, it’s not your fault, but fault of the system where we don’t have any institutes that can teach us how to write? In fact, we don’t even know the abc or basic structure of composition. I would have been among the same crowd of people if I hadn’t been got the opportunity to take a few basic courses on composition at USA a couple of years ago. But that was a whole new experience where they took me from nothing to something and I came to know that writing was a proper technique.

I was overwhelmed and on my return when I joined my Masters program in Linguistics, I shared my experience here with my professors, writers and some intellectual people, but since they hadn’t had the experience of studying abroad, they couldn’t understand me. Right after my MSc, I got two more workshops on writing by American teachers and all this taught me that different genres of fiction and nonfiction have their own structures, ingredients and techniques.

Put writing techniques aside, our students are not even aware of the meanings of literature which comprises fiction and creative nonfiction. Fiction means short story, novel, play and poetry, and, creative nonfiction means articles, memoirs, biographies, travelogues, interviews, book reviews, research articles, documentaries, etc. Unfortunately, we never get opportunity to touch all these area as part of our undergraduate or graduate studies. Almost none of us get introduced to this detail except only a few ones who have a natural passion for any one or some of the genres. We are so unlucky that generally our students don’t even read books of successful writers on fiction or creative nonfiction. Even worse, they are completely ignorant of various genres. Thus, today, those who write in Pakistan, write just the way they like without any reading exposure and writing training. That’s how we, as Pakistanis, are unable to produce a literature that can match international standards. Consequently, we are unable to express ourselves effectively as Pakistanis. And, when we don’t voice ourselves, we are not heard and understood by the world. This attitude goes against us and allows western world to look at us with their own glasses which causes many misunderstanding between both the cultures and let the international media exploit the situation its interest.Alongside, when we write, we not only express ourselves but try to understand other cultures and other voices as well, which results in mutual understanding and respect, tolerance and acceptance. The best thing that comes along will be our cultural and national identity that we are lacking as a nation with every passing day.
7 Comments
  1. Kausar, this is a very insightful post. In the United States, I believe we are experiencing some of this. However, the good news is that this challenge can be overcome IF we realize the problem and seek a solution.

    I am enjoying my first visit to your site. I look forward to reading more of your writings. By the way, thank you for commenting on my “Kimchi” blog.

    • Thanks a lot for visiting my blog and for your kind words. I agree with you that we will have to find a practical solution to the issue.

  2. Yes, I wish they teach this while teaching communication skills in bsiness schools and in higer education institutions.

    But what to do if the universities have failed to teach fine art of writing? I suggest we need to learn. And writing to me is the best way to learn writing.

    • Thanks a lot for your creative and practical advice. I just want to add that along with our personal writing experience, we should read a lot…We should read the great work of great writers in our favourite genres, so that we can be benefited by the exposure and can enrich our writing skill.

  3. Writing came to my life my accident. I was never a writer but an experience in my life made me use words to put out my inner feelings and to my surprise every one who read my work fell in love with it ….
    But not like mine, writing is a powerful tool to move a whole nation and the best and worst is in the writers hand. In history there are many writers who did amazing things just by using their inner thoughts in words.
    Enjoyed reading ….

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