Communication is such an important skill in so many careers and yet it seems it is often taken for granted. Part of the reason that I do these long pseudo-essays in semi-formal op-ed style is to really force myself to practice writing. I spend a lot of extra time trying to be careful about sentence structure, word choice, and style.
In college I got a lot of practice out of necessity; many assignments required writing, and sometimes lots of it. Now that I’m in the professional world, the obligations are far fewer. Sure, I write instructions, documentation, and long emails sometimes, but not nearly as often to keep up my “strength” and most of the stuff I write day to day for work are hardly a literary exercise. Forwarding jokes, pictures, and blurbs to co-workers doesn’t count.
Doing these posts forces me to organize my thoughts and express them intelligently and, if possible, entertainingly. It’s not easy, and I don’t claim to be particularly good at it yet. I’ve only been doing this a few months now, but I hope that after a couple of years I’ll be able to see some progress. At the very least I’m hoping I’ll not lose the practice I gained in school getting a creative writing minor (as an aside to my computer science major). Better yet, I hope to improve. Only time will tell, though.
Don’t get me wrong: I am interested and passionate about the topics I discuss here, but I admit that it’s also a good way to force me to practice writing. Being able to express ideas clearly and successfully and persuasion… these could be very useful skills to have in the future.