What happens when I stop practicing? First, I get rusty. Then, eventually, I wouldn’t be so good at it. Then, I forget that I was ever good at it. That’s what happened with my writing. Unlike painting and drawing, writing did not become painful as I grew older. The joy in writing grew as I grew older, at least the entire time I was in school. It didn’t matter whether it was in Japanese or English, I loved to write compositions and reports. I loved the process of writing, reading what I wrote, making corrections and adjustments, then reading, repeating the process over and over until I felt like the work is finished.
I’ve recently started reading On Writing Well by William Zinsser to improve my report writing skill. The moment I started reading it, the book reminded me of the English classes in high school days, the English classes I loved so much.
The grammar lessons, learning new vocabulary words, writing compositions. I loved them all! And I used to take pride in myself for the understanding of English grammar, having good range of vocabulary, writing neat compositions. What happened after not writing seriously for 25 years is that I have become unsure of English grammar, forgotten half the vocabulary words I learned, and I dread writing any sort of work related piece, report, letter, or e-mail.
Like learning to ride a bicycle, I haven’t forgotten altogether how to write. But like everything else, sports, cooking, arts, any practical skill, once I stop practicing, I am going down hill.
The feeling started to come back since I started writing into my blog last February. The feeling started to grow, and by reading <span class="underline"On Writing Well, I have come to realize what happened. One great thing about this re-discovery is that the feeling of enjoyment in writing came back. It doesn’t matter if the language is English or Japanese. I know what to do now. Keep practicing. Don’t stop.