Years ago, I had taken a fancy to building up my muscles, thanks to my friends. I asked the hulkiest among them for a tip. “Eat right, exercise right.” He was more into muscles than words.
Today I give similar advice to those who come to me to learn writing. “Read right, exercise write.” Three out of five never bother to take that seriously, not necessarily because it sounds weird coming from someone who is supposed to know his English.
They find it difficult to work at their writing. They claim not to have enough time to read. They are desperate to know which newspaper they should buy. Some are even willing to invest in bulky grammar books that continue to spook me as they used to in school.
I believe writing is a matter of instinct. You need to develop a feel for the words and the subtleties of their placement. There may be a remedy for everything out there in the internet. Follow all the tips you come across but you cannot be a writer unless you start writing. Make it a habit to read if you wish to be effective, if not good, at writing your moving sequel to Ramayana or a winning speech for the office.
You may be able to count the calories in every bite you take. You may be able to name every muscle group in the body. But unless you eat right day after day and work out diligently, those biceps will not bulk up.
Now, does that analogy tell you something? Or, do I need to rewrite this once more?
First posted at http://www.writowin.com/tips-and-notes.html