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 while being a Pakistani student? 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 the 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 the 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 MSc English Linguistics, I shared my experience here with my professors, writers and some intellectuals, 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 the two major writing categories as 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 the opportunity to explore or experience all these areas as part of our undergraduate or graduate studies. Similarly, they never get chances to 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 feel 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 the 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 in 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.

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