WHAT IF…Reading Became a LOST Art?
Have you communicated with the 30-somethings (or younger) populous by TEXT or TWEET or INSTAGRAM lately? My teacher’s heart cringes and my writer’s heart cries. The art of communicating clearly is taking a big HIT in these times when people believe their time is so limited that they cannot take the time to express themselves well and write out full thoughts and/or sentences. While our (yours and my) children continue to be readers many hold a lukewarm attitude toward the value of reading. They seem to have lost the understanding that their reading abilities will gain them access to the whole world of knowledge. Too many of our grandchildren and great-grandchildren are leaving books on the shelves and accepting “sound-bite” information as the basis for life choices. I have no big answer to this problem other than to encourage excellent writers to KEEP WRITING and KEEP PUBLISHING. Someday, the next generations will return to “the books” to expand their knowledge base beyond song lyrics and media clips.
WAY back in the 1600s a French philosopher named Descartes wrote: “The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest (people) of the past centuries.” And so it is! From his perspective only the “finest minds” wrote books, and he knew that from them we have the opportunity to learn great things on any subject! Plus he wrote with a passion “as if no one had written on these matters before,” and encouraged other writer/thinkers to do the same.
IF YOU THINK that being a writer is just a job or a bit of a unique career let me share a few statistics with you…
- There are almost half-a-million words in our English Language (the largest language on earth) and people (those folks who buy and read our books) really need to know them—their meanings—and usage which will improve their lives.
- Just 15 minutes a day of reading can expose us to more than a million words in a year.
- Teachers today can barely find 5 minutes a day to devote to reading with individual students—even those who need help.
- For a person to participate fully in the world and workplace of 2020, they will need powerful literacy abilities that until now have been achieved by only a small percentage of the world’s population.
- Currently, more than 20 percent of adults read at or below a fifth-grade level. This is far below the level needed to earn a living wage.
- IF you’re thinking that the challenge of dyslexia is a major cause of the above statistic you’d be wrong! The majority of dyslexic individuals work harder and more creatively to “learn to read” and because of this have been noticed by some of the largest employers on the planet. At NASA, over 50% of their employees are dyslexic. They are deliberately sought after because they have superb problem solving skills and excellent 3D and spatial awareness.
So, HOW can writers make a difference in the midst of these facts? KEEP WRITING! Make each word you place on a manuscript page zing so that people will be drawn to it whether you’re creating Science Fiction adventures or developing a game to teach world history. With almost 50 percent of our Nation’s unemployed youth (ages 16-21) labeled as “functionally illiterate,” we need to write books (and blogs and vlogs and…) that interest them while teaching them the skills they need to obtain good jobs. AND…should a question about writing rules come up, we always have The Elements of Style by Strunk & White which will take us back to basics with the English language. Together we can save the arts of reading and writing! ⚓︎
|ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene has been writing something since before kindergarten days and continues to love the process. Through her small business—DOYLE WRITING SERVICES—she brings more than 40 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their projects. This is a nice fit as she develops these blogs for Outskirts Press (OP) a leading self-publisher, and occasionally accepts a ghostwriting project from one of their clients. Her recent book release (with OP) titled FIREPROOF PROVERBS, A Writer’s Study of Words, is already receiving excellent reviews including several professional writer’s endorsements given on the book’s back cover.
Royalene’s writing experience grew through a wide variety of positions from Office Manager and Administrative Assistant to Teacher of Literature and Advanced Writing courses and editor/writer for an International Christian ministry. Her willingness to listen to struggling authors, learn their goals and expectations and discern their writing voice has brought many manuscripts into the published books arena.
One thought on “Conversations: 3/18/2016”
A piece that just demanded to be written Royalene. I volunteer at my grandchildren’s school into the literacy program. I’m heartened to see how many parents and grandparents do the same.