Today’s Blaugust prompt (original poster is Stingite) is
What skill do you want to improve on the most?
Pretty simple question. And for me, it’s a pretty simple answer. I want to improve my communication skills, and writing in particular.
See, I was always a decent writer. Competent, got good marks on my essays. I can do public speaking relatively well. Relatively. But “relatively well” isn’t good enough, in my eyes. Not when it’s important (important to me, anyhow).
I stated long ago that this was a reason for me to start this blog in the first place – to improve my writing skills. I have no real reason to do this – I’m a glorified janitor, after all. Even moving up to middle management somewhere wouldn’t really necessitate improving my writing (I’ve seen what our management does here), just keeping up my basic literacy. But I still want to improve.
I just don’t see my writing as particularly good. Oh, I know there are good ideas. That’s why I bother writing them down in the first place, whether it’s here on this blog, or somewhere else. (I’ve always been the type to hold my peace when I don’t have anything particular to add to a conversation. Drives some people up the wall.) But actually getting those ideas out, in a satisfactory manner, has always been very difficult for me. Even just explaining myself verbally is a challenge, but writing is definitely much harder. I’ll think about something for a long time, but when the time comes to let someone else know, I almost always falter.
For example, look at yesterday’s post. To me, when I read it, it seems like the barely-literate ramblings of a child. Now, I know they’re not. It’s competently done. I said what I wanted to say. But I didn’t say it how I wanted it said. It’s very simple and perfunctory. There’s no style or voice. I’ve been writing this post in my head for weeks. And yet there it is, looking like something a middle-schooler could dump out. Maybe not today’s middle schoolers, but you get the point. It was all much better in my head, but it’s just slop.
This is why I don’t do too many reviews – what can I say that is worth reading? I made yesterday’s post because I figure most anyone who reads it wouldn’t know about it, so there’s some small value there. But it’s a big part of why I haven’t put up my Picard review yet – people much more eloquent (or at least funnier) than I have said a lot about it. I still have thoughts and feelings about it, which I will post, this month, but still, I doubt it will satisfy me, besides the mere fact of finally expressing myself (to someone other than my brother, who doesn’t even care about Trek).
So yah, I want to improve my communication. I’m a smart guy, if I might toot my own horn a bit, so I shouldn’t sound like an idiot.