I always thought writing was a creative, bordering on the artistic-kind, of activity. One wrote when the inspiration to write took precedence over everything else—when the urge to write could no longer be contained within oneself. This thinking could have spawned from those romantic notions associated with literary writing: writing requires imagination. As poetic as this thinking may be, the fact remains that writing is a skill—a skill that has to be developed and continuously worked upon; and one which hopefully gets better with practice. When this practice meets a vivid imagination, creative writing emerges. But that is not the only kind of writing.
My past degree in literature and the current one I am pursuing in technical communication and e-learning at first seemed to be on opposite ends of the spectrum with regard to the activity of writing. I wondered if one kind of writing was more valuable than the other. Studying for my course has helped me put certain facts in order.
In technical communication, the emphasis is on clear and precise writing. In literature, the emphasis is on exploring the world on the wings of words. While the former relies on conveying useful information on concrete topics, the latter revels in describing the abstract and the imaginary. Each serves a different purpose and audience. But in both the cases, having a good grasp over language helps to use the right words and convey the correct information or feeling. To think that one kind of writing is more valuable than the other is unfair. Communication lies at the core of both. Just as the mere use of flowery language does not constitute good literature, only the use of simple words will not make an instructional manual readable.
Halfway into my course, I am enjoying the process of writing because I see it as a means to communicate—as a means to create meaning, order, and understanding.