Part of my responsibilities when I started learning English was to write a weekly report of our work. It granted me an opportunity to improve my writing skills by
This weekly exercise enhanced considerably my learning curve. Eighteen months later I was introducing myself as an English teacher for beginners!
Another habit that helped me a lot was keeping a journal in English. By doing so, I could identify my lack of vocabulary and started thinking in my target language. Here are some other benefits I found:
Besides, this habit helped me develop my writing skills and made me think in English at the same time!
Developing writing skills is like saving money. After you start, you can't stop it anymore! Here are some more reasons to consider:
Can you remember that aunt or grandma whom you loved so much, and who departed from this life? Would you like to know their challenges when they were young and their deepest thoughts? What about reading a record of their dreams and realizations?
Likewise, someone will want to know about YOU.
My mother died when whe was 50. Her original journal is with my older brother, while I keep the 64 letters she sent me when we were living on opposite sides of the country.
Her way of writing was so simple and sincere, that it is difficult to hold the tears everytime I read it. They became a real treasure for my family and our posterity!
If you had such a treasure in your hands, would you mind in finding some grammar mistakes in her personal way of writing?
With such thought in mind, it is easier to take the first steps in journal keeping. Just to start, get a notebook – with no more than 50 pages – and sooner than expected it will be over.
Insert your personal data, the important dates, some information about your parents and your goals in life.
Write whatever you know about how you family origin, what you did in your childhood (if you can’t remember, just ask your olders;-)
You may even write a letter to your children, grandchildren, or any descendant that you choose. (Some of your writings will be read on the next century!)
You can include almost anything: comments about your country – the elections, for instance – about your family, school or work, always adding your personal impressioins. Record your thoughts, feelings, fears and achievements.
“The results of a workday may desappear, but your family, friends and a good joke will last forever.”
- Anonymous, or Benjamin Franklin*
*He said so many things after that lightning that he may have said it too!