Wednesday, November 22, 2006


by Pia Manzano

When I was in high school, I had an English teacher who taught me how to write. Not simply write but to write sensibly. As with any English class, we had a baby thesis to do with the usual background research, quotes, discussion materials, outlines and the like. It was one helluva year but the ending made it all worth the while.

Knowing that some defense sessions took half an hour, I walked to the stage so slowly with my thesis in my hand while out of the corner of my eye, I can see two of my English teachers. I was shaking with fear and I must have turned so red that I eventually needed air so badly. At the end of it all, after just one question asked, I breathed a sigh of relief at a job well done.

This is my journey with the written word.

I had a thought, a need to write, a want to search for truths. I spoke of science and behavior and wanted to write of it as well. I had in my head ideas, in my hand research, on my bed a pillow to rest my thoughts on. How do ideas, research and a pillow help in creating great outputs?

The moment an idea comes to mind, make a web out of it. Write all your ideas; a paper and pen will help to keep things in tact. Write wherever and whenever an idea comes up. Collect you thoughts, make sense of them. What you can’t understand, search for the truth. Read, ask questions, inquire!

And when all these things are starting to make some sense, draft it in your head or write it on paper, then sleep on it. Distance is needed. The greatest works of literature were not made overnight, they were not created at a whim. They were made great in time, like wine that tastes better through the ages, the written word can be made better the more time is spent mulling on it in silence. Some people distance themselves from their work for a week, then read it again. A fresh look will let them see the mistakes, areas to improve on and other ideas that will enhance the product.

Some would rather let others read it, make sense of their work, have another pair of eyes see their creation. They welcome the constructive criticism, knowing they can be more brutal with their work if they were to comment on it. It’s a tedious process, writing, editing, re-writing, reading, sleeping on it!

But as they say, great things will come to those who wait.

Pia Manzano is the Administrative Assistant at the Office of the HR Director. She is also the Guild's Vice President and Backspace's Features Editor.

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