Article by Yeh Xiao-Jian
文 | 葉小鍵
Why Writing is Difficult
Have you ever encountered this situation: You open your computer, launch Word, see a blank page, put your hands on the keyboard, and get ready to write. However, your mind is blank, and you don’t know how to start. So, you get up to make a cup of coffee, listen to a song that helps you focus, and then return to your computer to get ready to write. This time, you write a sentence, then get stuck on the next one. You have no inspiration or ideas, and you don’t know where to start.
You then look at the push notifications on your phone and realize that writing isn’t the best option for today. You might as well watch the latest TV drama instead.
One reason why writing is difficult is because we don’t know what to write about. Of course, there are other situations that make us feel like writing is a challenging task. For instance, when we face urgent writing tasks or high-demand writing requirements, we feel that the difficulty of writing increases dramatically.
The key is to treat writing as an important task, start writing, and put your thoughts on paper instead of keeping them in your head.
For example, losing weight can also be a difficult task. We may only feel that we are overweight but not take it seriously. However, if we receive a notice for a physical examination, we may make up our minds to lose weight. The first step might be difficult, but with time and regular practice, we can eventually achieve our desired weight.
The reason why writing is difficult is that we don’t treat it as an important task.
What Are the Difficulties of Writing?
In a writing class, we are given a topic to write about so that we can put our ideas on paper and present them to readers.
Writing needs to be done regularly, and it is a craft that extends our thinking and presents our thoughts. We need to express our feelings or inspirations on paper, make it clear and easy to understand, and create value for readers after reading it.
Although Chinese is our mother tongue, we still have a limited vocabulary, and we may encounter difficulties in writing if we do not understand certain parts of speech.
Different languages can express ideas succinctly or in a complex and verbose manner. When we encounter different expressions, we find that there are different ways to use them.
For working professionals, regular work hours are normal, but leaving work isn’t always at a fixed time. Sometimes we may need to work overtime to complete a report or deal with unresolved issues.
I have encountered three problems with writing difficulties:
- Inability to discipline oneself to write regularly.
- Incoherent words and illogical article structure.
- No ideas, and don’t know what to write.
- Inability to discipline oneself to write regularly
Writing requires us to invest time outside of work, and finding regular time to write is challenging. We need to find time, even if it’s just 25 minutes, to write regularly. We can wake up early, stay up late, or find time to write during our free time after work.
you can try to schedule writing into your itinerary to make writing happen.
2. Inappropriate wording and illogical article structure:
“We use our native language in our daily listening, speaking, reading and writing, so we generally don’t feel that our native language proficiency is lacking. Therefore, the biggest difficulty in starting to learn our native language is understanding the necessity of learning it.” — From “Self-study Complete Guide” by Reading Monkey.
Just because we use our native language doesn’t mean we know how to express ourselves in writing. Writing is about telling stories, and we learn how to express emotions through the words in novels and stories. When we have inspiration, we can continue to create. If not, reading novels is a good choice, reading a lot of interesting novels or award-winning novels such as the Booker Prize.
The more you read, the more impressions you will have. Record good sentences and learn how authors use words to tell a story.
3. Lack of inspiration, not sure what to write:
You can start with writing a diary, book review, short story or emotional story. Sometimes, finding a good writing topic is as difficult as finding a research topic.
If you have no ideas, you can use ChatGPT to give you some inspiration. When you see 10 or more titles, perhaps you will have some inspiration to use.
Earlier, we mentioned why writing is important, because it is an extension of our thoughts, a platform for expressing ideas, and another mode of communication with others. When we write our ideas down on paper and publish articles, it may present new possibilities.
In the fast-changing future, writing is the best investment we can make in ourselves.
Read Stephen Pinker’s book “The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century,” a famous modern linguist and cognitive scientist.
Before we get into that, let’s first understand that language is also a product of evolution. Learning how to express our thoughts through the structure of modern language can help us communicate more effectively with others.
Different values can create cognitive gaps, and presenting text and language structure is a cognitive science that allows people to communicate clearly and effectively.
This book, “The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century,” is a difficult read, but if you want to improve your writing, you need a writing guide.
Some suggestions for writing guides are:
- Write fast and edit slowly, write down anything that comes to mind, regardless of whether it makes sense or not.
- When you have no inspiration, read a passage from a book or a piece of work.
- Delete unnecessary words, this is not easy to judge, but initially, you can delete words such as “的” and “恩”.
These issues can be resolved, and you will see results.
Perhaps we are not sure what we have written, because we write spontaneously, not like in school where we have to submit reports after class, and no teacher will give you a score, only readers will give you feedback.
Through the process of continuous revision, our words and thoughts can be expressed clearly and effectively, creating value for the reader.