Saturday, April 09, 2016
Already Know and Want to Know
This month's focus for me is writing. Sadly, I haven't been as persistent at this goal as I wanted to be, blame it on work and all the other things I wanted to do as well. (sigh) Gladly, however, I have seen some progress, however little it is, and that gently nudges me to keep it up.
From another page in the Pocket Muse, I was prompted to make 2 lists: One of what I knew about a subject, and another of what I wanted to know. Below is the list I made in my planner:
Those in the same industry as me would recognize this as part of a strategy called KWL, standing for what I KNOW, what I WANT to do and what I LEARNT. I learnt to use it to teach non-fiction texts, but never had I thought about using it as a self-reflective tool.
So how do we use this?
Think first about the subject you want to know about. For me, this would be writing on a professional basis and publishing.
In one column, write down everything you know about your subject. I knew that I had the ability to form sentences in English (duh) and that given a good enough prompt, I would be able to spin a small tale.
In the 2nd column, which is the more important one, list down everything you WANT to know. Here, it is easier to refer to the 1st column to see what else could be added to complete my knowledge. So I knew I could write in English, but I also felt that my current ability wasn't good enough for publishing, maybe just good enough to write a blog and hope some people outside of my circle of friends and family would read it. This tells me I needed to know what made a good story. I also needed to know other things like how to add enough detail to make a good story, how much characterization and plot development I needed.
What would be the next step for me? Find material and ideas to tackle the items in the 2nd column. Take notes, references and practise this on a regular basis.
This method turned out to be more useful than I thought. I realised that in writing, even with the skill I had, there was still so much I had to learn and now I desperately want to go to a bookshop to find books to read on this. Not only that, I'm wondering now about doing this for everything I want to learn and improve in.
Pitfalls? Of course, the most major one being the difference between an intention and an action. It's not enough for me just to know my shortfalls, if I don't do anything about them! Then for the rest of my life, all I would learn from the list is how I'm not good enough yet and I would never see the improvement I want.
So next steps: Go find a good reference material I can work with and read comfortably. Buy it, keep it and read it regularly over the course of my life. Practise, practise, practise what I read.
And one day, hopefully you see me announcing my new novel! (or blog entry......)