So I’ve been reading some of my recent posts, and I couldn’t help but feel like my writing ability has been deteriorating somewhat. I feel like the kind of language I use nowadays is a lot more simple, technically speaking. I get surprised when I read some of my older pieces, to the point where I think to myself, “Whoa, I wrote that?”
I talked about this with a fellow teacher at school. I expressed how even as a primary school student, I had always been this person who wanted to write at a level higher than what was typical for my age. I always had this desire to get the best marks in the essay writing section of the English paper, at the very least. And to a certain extent I achieved that. I always managed to be generally happy with my own writing (mainly because I wasn’t exposed to the vast amount of young writing talent that was out there, but hey).
We came to a point where it was theorised that because I had been teaching very basic stuff at school, I had gotten used to using the language in that way. A lot of what I do in school is teach basic vocabulary to 8-9 year olds (words like milk, cereal, bread, rice, alamak terlapaq la pulak), because the majority of my students aren’t capable of constructing full English sentences quite yet. Even if they are, the sentences would be simple stuff such as “I like cereal” and “I eat rice” (Anwar, stop thinking about food).
So as I’ve become more and more accustomed to using a very rudimental version of the language, it becomes more and more tough for me to come up with technically flashy and complex sentence structures. Ideas come and are expressed using more and more simplified language.
The language-snob inside me is discomforted by this. He wants to write like a multi-million book selling author that strings words together like gems on a necklace, but is limited by this repetition of simplistic primary Year 3 language. He’s screaming in agony, I’m sure.
But I suppose it’s his fault too, for being a lazy douche. If he, I really wanted to keep my language in technical shape, then I would surround myself with such material. I would read Dickens or something everyday. But what do you do Anwar? You read Twitter. Wonderful.
And what’s so bad about simplistic language? If you can explain an idea well enough using primary Year 3 language, then why would you want to complicate it? Sure you want to be poetic and all that, but within limitations there is creativity. Get creative, and pull something out of your ears. You’re not all that bad Anwar. You have read half of a Dickens novel, and some other stuff too, I’m sure. All’s you need is to put in the work. Are you prepared to, though? That is the question.