14 October 2013

writing and things to accomplish pre-8am

some time ago, i read mel stating that learning programming would help her to write, as it required one to be logical and precise, which was important in story writing too. this is true of not just writing fiction, but non fiction as well. tight, concise and logical writing can never go wrong.

today i read this piece, with 10 writing tips. the author is apparently the chair of the polsci dept at duke, which i found a little surprising. why? because his writing is not all that great, although his tips are very useful. and also, because he seems to have low standards, for both others, and himself. many of the comments to his piece also pick up on this.. 

writing a research paper is darn important. for me, my undergrad years were marked by my improved writing, research and analytical skills. this, to me anyways, is the entire point of a university education. it teaches you to think, to critique and to express your thoughts and findings. these skills will then serve you for the rest of your life, in whatever field you choose. those of us who have had to research topics online, and vet our sources, can now unerringly tell which website is useful when we want to google any information. i have come across many people who have not had this benefit, and continue to think that everything found on yahoo answers or from the christian science monitor is gospel. these skills allow you to pick up on the differences in news from different news channels/stations/papers and form informed opinions. 

writing a good research paper requires you to read widely. this is good practice for life in general i think; reading is so very important. literature, nonfiction, poetry, prose, news reports, analytical articles, reviews, academic papers, personal narratives, court judgments -all of this gives you a better picture of the world you live in, it opens eyes and doors and minds to so much diversity. 

at one of my first polsci classes, a professor mentioned an american president who apologized to his staff for writing a long memo, as he didn’t have the time to write a short one. this is something that has stayed with me throughout graduate school and beyond. writing a shorter article means you have to be more concise, which in turn means you have to know your material well. i want an education for the twins that encourages reading, writing and critical thinking. i worry that this is not so easy to come by here.. 

i too, am guilty of no longer ‘practicing’ my writing, of no longer reading as much.. i need to organize these components into my schedule.. 

** 
speaking of schedules, i read this article on things to accomplish before 8am. sigh. i need to make my own list (starting small, of course), and really get things going. although i don’t get to bed till midnight as one or the other of the twins is still up, and although i have to wake up several times at night to soothe them, waking up late is not helping me. i have too many things i need to get done in the day.. and too many things that are simply not happening. exercise, even if only a simple stretching routine, is definitely a priority (my knees are killing me these days). praying namaz and quran is another priority. perhaps i could even squeeze in some writing and reading! sure, i could add household chores to my list too (which would perhaps make my MIL and hubby happy), but that would be a little too ambitious at this stage i think.. 

so, exercise and prayer will be my pre-8am goals! let's see how i go..

1 comment:

Life | Above | Zero ! said...

you are student in which field ? Programming helps alot ,umm the programme never runs unless it is defined in algorithm the sequence,and same goes for writing.last friday i attend a 2hrs workshop on how to write a good research paper n stuff.One thing is true that you have to write short but write comphresensive,gotta chose your words wisely .