The phenomenon of language is inseparably connected with human thought. People perceive information through different channels every day and their perception involuntarily shapes it into abstract ideas. The latter does not always seem clear even to us because the mosaic of thoughts can be quite mixed and baffling. In order to make these ideas more concrete, we tend to communicate and use language as a social mechanism. I would like to compare writing, a perfect way of applying a language, to a molding device. The better one’s literacy skills are the greater the molding of one’s ideas are. Writing is a reflective experience that comes in various “shapes”; however, despite these differences, it has a miraculous ability to induce communication, mold our thoughts into a clear-picture mosaic and structure our perception of the world and certain aspects of it.
The first story behind my writing practice has to do with filling out applications for different part time job positions and cultural programs. Several times I had to write personal statements, which is a part and parcel of most application forms. What made this type of writing so important to me was that I could assess objectively my strength and weaknesses. When I sat down to think of the possible reasons for my admission or acceptance, writing them down and evaluating the facts gave me a clear perspective. It was my way of structuring thoughts and premeditating future goals. I also realized that the several pages of my motivation I submit to any program board or future university are quite important in the decision-making process. Therefore, the way I shaped my ideas, goals, and the style I presented myself with writing was a crucial factor. It was a reflection of my identity that had to be eloquent and tell-tale.
To my mind, any writing process is a perfect reflection mechanism. The latter can be different. Some people talk and voice their views aloud while others need more time and a whole process of perceiving and reflecting information. Writing gives a person all of the above. While I am comfortable voicing my ideas, I consider it important to apply writing for discussing serious issues and arguing about certain aspects of life. I would like to use this very narrative paper as a perfect example. In order to write it, I had to read the instructions carefully to make my paper correspond the requirements. The very assignment presented me with a question. It gave me a topic to ponder about. Moreover, this topic is directly linked to daily activities I meet; therefore, it is quite important for me to figure everything out for myself. On the other hand, I see this paper as a means of communication between me and those who will read this narrative. They will hear some of my thoughts and somehow reflect upon them in their own way.
Another way I try to use writing in my life had to do with keeping in touch with some of my friends, even though it might seem pointless with all the technology present in our lives today. Hand-written letters sent by post have long become old-fashioned to many people who often refer to regular post as “snail mail”; however, for some individuals there is nothing more exciting than finding an envelope with a neatly written letter in their mailbox. The embodiment of one’s care and gentle presence become the very hand-writing and the paper chosen by the sender. Writing and reading letters helps me realize the importance of live human communication. Epistolary conversations are not the direct embodiment of such interaction, but they are ultimately closer to it than electronic posts and social networking.
In all three cases described the benefits of writing have to do with different aspects of my life: school, overcoming geographical barriers to communicate with friends, and personal interests in job offers and programs for development. Despite that three types of writing are quite different, the practice of applying the skills of reading, thinking, and writing are similar. In all three cases, I get a better structure of my thoughts, perform the process of reflection, find new ways of communication, and understand the value of certain aspects in life.