Little boxes and the power of the eraser

person writing on notebook

The task of writing can be split into two parts; idea generation and editing. Both are equally important, yet more emphasis should be placed on the editing part. Ideas alone are premature. Editing allows our ideas to be refined and moulded to say exactly what we want them to say.

So it bothers me to see teachers having students write essays on paper, and it’s even worse in Japan when you have to write in little boxes. At least they write in pencil I guess.

Either way, this makes it extremely difficult and tiresome to edit, which is exactly where ideas truly develop. I think this is partially to blame for the general lack of writing skill, besides the minimal practice they get.

Once you have any sort of idea out on paper, the eraser is one of your best tools. It just has to be followed with refinement of the idea, and constant progress, forever moving forward.

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