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Chapter 18: The Secret to Good English Writing

Let us continue where we left. The next chapter I read from “Effortless English by A.J Hoge.” is about how to perform good English writing. Number one activity for writing is reading. (I explained The Power of Pleasure Reading in my previous blog. You can read about it here) The more you read for pleasure, the more you naturally absorb English sentence structures. Read novels that you love. Read non-fiction books that fascinate you. Read comic books. Read simple articles.

To create beautiful and powerful stories:

  1. Use short sentences, simple phrases, and common vocabulary
  2. Write like you speak
  3. Break long sentences into a series of short simple sentences.
  4. Use active voice
  5. Focus on fairly easy reading
  6. Read stories and authentic books
  7. Look for easier materials – for the purpose of improving your writing.

One technique I am using now is TIMED WRITING. I write a daily journal. I try to keep my journal short and simple. When I am confident enough, I post my journal publicly online by writing it as a blog.

How I did that?

I set for 10 minutes to write.  I write about something I did the day before. I write about my goals. I write about something I recently read. Like what I do now. I write about the chapters I read from a book.

When I ready, I set a timer, with an alarm for 10 minutes. Press “start” and write as quickly as possible. Do not take a break. Write anything without pausing. I just simply punch the damn keys on the board and type. I do not stop to correct mistakes or to think a better phrase.

The purpose of this process is to bypass the critical brain and learn to the words flow out. When I first try this technique, I feel frustrated. It was full of mistakes and disorganized. It’s so horrible and full of mess. I struggle to think of what to write.

“Almost all first drafts are bad!”

The next day, I reread the previous day journal entry. I identified the problems and mistakes as many as I can using Grammarly tool and refer to the book. I rewrite the 1st draft to make it clearer. Cut anything that is unnecessary.

I try to repeat the same process every day if I can. In that way, my confidence in English writing will improve. My aim is not to write perfectly. All I ever want is progressively get better each time I write something new.

©Cha Niki