Learning to Write Through Reading

As I read the writing of Gus Ulil Abshar Abdalla on Nahjul Balaghah book which contains a collection of political letters sent to governors spread across various countries, including wisdom, even guidance for the authorities in running the government. I find that Gus Ulil describes it in coherence and life way. 

Like a santri who is listening to the clerics’ long description when they are studying, it feels so good and tries to get it done as soon as possible. We can find out about the political views of Sayyidina Ali, national insights, and political policies such as taxation that must bring benefit to the people and generate benefits for the payers.

Not only that, Sayyidina Ali was also very sensitive to the existence of social classes in the community. Uniquely, he behaves that each group is not seen as a conflict of social inequality, but how to make this group work together, shoulder to shoulder in economic affairs to create harmony. Moreover, it is supported by in-depth reading of western literary sources, making readers spoiled by a wealth of knowledge.

Learn to Write Essays from Esais

As a layman who also learns to write, of course I also have several idols in this writing. Certainly no stranger, I made this one name the first, because when I mentioned it you would all agree.

He is Gus Dur. A kiai, essayist, literary critic, ball observer, national teacher, and various series of labels of respect for him which he might also be very foolish about those labels. But the main focus was Abdurrahman as an essayist.

For some reason, reading Gus Dur’s essays was like being taken for a walk in a library. Remember the two keywords, walks and libraries. So happy and lots of new knowledge gained. His criticism is also sharp and pithy, stimulating every reader to rethink his surroundings. Can be read by all people, really amazing this one figure.

Second, there is Eka Kurniawan. In addition to wrestling in the world of literature, which has delivered to the international arena, his column which was published in Jawa Pos is always waiting for me. Either every reading is always made a satire for the satire revealed. So joyable.

There is more, AS Laksana, a writer who is also a senior journalist, has a special column in Beritagar. Many things are the focal point of the essays, what I like is when discussing the incompetence of journalists and reporters in presenting news, most of the news they write contains garbage and other revolting things. The language is simple and soothing.

The three names mentioned above are the names that at least I want to read their essays and books. Although there are many other essays and columns that I always read.

Of all the names that I call, of course there are many things that can be learned, especially the writing style. Various approaches that vary in background, reading, and experience combine to become one entity that I can make as the basis for the writing process.

Voice in writing

In terms of reading, one thing to note is focus. With this focus we can determine in what direction the writing will lead. Besides that, it takes a kind of feeling of comfort in yourself when you start reading. Mood is very influential on the continuity of reading. Therefore, we should make the mood as comfortable and relaxed as possible before reading, if it can’t, we can make some kind of rules of the game with the heart that this reading must be completed within certain time.

Similarly, writing. I think good writing is writing that can bring readers to finish writing with the same focus when reading the title, followed by the first paragraph until the last letter of writing. It cannot be denied that when the writer has reached this stage, the predicate of the author is indeed very appropriate for him.

I also got a new assessment of the benchmark of writing. Exactly yesterday after watching the Rebel of the Rye film that tells the biography of a great 20th century novelist from the United States, J.D. Salinger. The phenomenal author of The Catcher of The Rye. At the beginning of the film, there was a teacher’s assessment of the young Salinger about the writing he had made. The teacher reminded, “One thing that is lacking in your writing is the voice. You extend the diction too much to forget the most important thing about it, what is it? The voice of your writing itself.”

From the teacher’s message, Salinger began to think hard to improve his writing and find the right writing style in accordance with his heart. He began to act honestly and write down what he really felt until he became a writer whose name was eternal in his work and did not forget whe he came from. In fact, he devoted himself to always writing to the end of his life, without thinking about whether his writing would be read by someone else or not.

Here is the essence of this article, conscience is the most powerful thing in writing. People who are able to convey what is turbulent in their hearts and put it in writing are one of the most basic things in terms of writing. Minimum as a form of honesty in yourself and try not to lie to other people. Because honesty of the heart will not be able to meet a lie. Historical facts can be made, but honesty of the heart is a valuable item that cannot be touched by others whatever happens.

With this I also intend to myself to always put honesty in its place. Continue writing to find a distinctive writing style that reflects yourself. Voice the heart in writing, this is the goal. Certainly not an easy thing, but it doesn’t hurt to try and process right?

Adieu!

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