Breathing In & Breathing Out = Reading & Writing
Oxygen is what we breathe in and Carbon Dioxide is what we breathe out.
Oxygen is the product that we take in and Carbon Dioxide is a byproduct. This is part of the biochemical reaction that happens in the Cell Respiration. It is the process by which cell releases energy. It does so from the chemical bonds of food molecules of the stuff that we eat that supports the running of the essential processes of life. Along with oxygen the system in the body needs glucose for the production of energy. The glucose comes from the food that we eat. Glucose is cooked in the kitchen i.e. in the leaves of the plant through the fundamental process of Photosynthesis, it is a process of reverse respiration. The carbon comes from glucose.
The chemical reaction that takes place drives all other functions of the cell. Glucose gets oxidized. This process is called a Cellular Oxidation. The end product are carbon dioxide and water. It is the carbon dioxide dissolved in the blood and carried to the lungs and then breathed out. This metabolic reactions in the cell is the most fundamental process that keeps the cell alive and gives fuel for the functioning of the biology of our life.
Literacy is our ability to read and write.
Reading involves the eye and writing involves the hand.
Writing is such an important part of human communication though speaking largely dominates as mode of communication, as it encompasses the sound along with the body language. The quality of our writing and our ability to write quality stuff depends so much on the quantum of reading that we do. It encompasses all form of reading, the good to bad, the complex to simple, the short to long; these spread gives us different perspectives that powers of writing. Unfortunately, we have truncated our reading habits and shrunk on the types of books we read. In other words the quality of our writing is a direct function of our habit of reading. We cannot write well unless we have read well. The fundamental principle governing quality of our writing.
It is the reading that goes as breathe in and the writing that comes as breathe out.
The only fundamental difference is that the process of breathe out i.e. writing not always produces carbon dioxide as the byproduct that need to relinquished. It so happens many times the writing that we do come out as carbon dioxide where the stuff that we have written turns out to be complete junk. That written material turns out to be highly pedestal. This exhaust valve is needed to exit the waste that comes with every process creation and production. Writing becomes the main product of our reading practice and the more we read the more better our writing becomes. There is no direct correlation that enunciates this subtle relationship. It needs farther corroboration.
The analogy of breathing in and breathing out with reading and writing is not an absolute direct correlation.
It is fairly relative in nature. An analogy to drive home a point of derived correlation. It is merely to set up the resultant connection between two associated processes. As breathing out cannot happen without the breathing in process in place. These are biologically locked. Only death can unlock. To graduate from a good to great writer, reading and writing must be treated much like life and death. If we don’t read writing slips onto death-bed. Such is the importance that needs to be attached to the process of reading and writing. The core power of writing comes from the kernel source of reading. The significance of writing stems from the fact that all our history, geography, science, art and literature gets captured in the written forms of communication. And it is then that the written stuff gets transported from one generation to another and from one civilization to another. We are constantly enriched with new body of knowledge with each passing era. It was the formation of alphabets and then with the advent of printing form that took communication to a different stratosphere. Internet and digital has changed the rules of the game. We are all playing a different game all together in the field of communication. The oral form of communication has its own inherent limitation and beyond a time it gets diluted and somewhere gets lost.
The craft of creative writing goes hand in hand with the art of ardent reading. There are so many different connections between this two very important skill sets.
Reading appears easy and writing appears difficult.
It is deception and the other is perception.
Many of us find it stubbornly difficult to write and to write effectively is an uphill task. We get primarily entangled in the angle of articulation. The word articulation comes from the Latin word for “jointed”. How do we use words to articulate a sentence? It is the formation of logical sentences depicting coherent thoughts that makes communication effective. Our ability to write gets a thrust when we are learning writing with reading i.e. learning the skills together.
There is this intriguing paradox that crops up when we say that we can master our writing skill through reading.
The vital role that reading plays in making writing stand out and paves a solid path for significant improvement. Though we keep writing to improve our writing skill but there is that magic that happens when we start reading rigorously and then write. There is quantum jump in the quality of our writing. The input to the output of writing comes from the knowledge of reading. Much like the output of energy that comes in our system with the intake of oxygen.
In a way reading is the oxygen to our writing…
The regular writing is like the role glucose plays in that chemical reaction. The food that keeps the glucose to complete the reaction. Reading is the real food for thought that gives writing the vitality that rejuvenate the moribund energy in our writing. There are other ingredients like the travelling to experiencing to observation to interaction that makes writing constantly improve and gradually grow in size and stature. If we are a voracious reader and don’t write we end up accumulating the carbon dioxide in our thought and that gradually affects the way we communicate…the verbal communication has a limitation and unless it is supplemented with written form, the finer refinement never comes. We can always see that abrasives in our written stuff. The dots of distractions. The honing and fining tuning of our communication happens when we balance the written with the spoken.
Irrespective of the form i.e. (writing & speaking) reading remains the basic tenet on which the communication builds the pillars to stand out strong on its ground.
In breathing in and breathing out, the process is automated and there is no option. In reading and writing we have that option and hence we sparingly use it and in the process we get used to a broken habit. We get so much driven by writing we give reading a miss. This is a gross mistake we commit. We feel as anyway we are writing so our writing will automatically improve little realizing that only writing without reading has its intrinsic limitation. It can take so far and not farther. We take writing for granted and then we miss the trick completely.
Reading and Writing has to go in an automated process though the pace and space can be varied and though literally it is not about life and death. But if we want to make our writing stand out and make a statement to the world it has be treated in the same breath as that of life and death. The strive to make reading drive our writing can make us healthy and wealthy.
It is the breathing cycle that counts between our life and death.
The increase in heart rate during inhalation and the decrease during exhalation is a sign of healthy heart. The longer the duration of breathing cycle the better is the quality of our life. It is said to take it slowly and make it long. The slow deep breathing process improves oxygenation. The breathing process of inhaling oxygen and the process of exhaling the carbon dioxide.
If we want to write well we have to read as well and read well and widely to get our writing go far and wide. With reading we learn to read through the writer’s eye and that makes us envisioned.
The nuanced aspects of writing get subtly factored in our mind and becomes an integral part of our mental makeup.
Then the question of breakup doesn’t arise and we manage to rise above the basic challenge of maneuvering the rules of grammars and syntax and writing starts flowing freely and firmly.
A well-read writer has a better grip on language, the words, the vocabulary, the application and the taste of good quality writing.
We write to tell a story to others and other write a story that we read. Storytelling is a fascinating facet of our life. It is the writing that makes the telling much more compelling. Once we write what floats in our mind, the fuzzy thoughts gets creatively crystallized. Good writing comes along side good reading. Just cannot be separated. Any cursory attempt results in impacting the quality of writing. The cycle of writing and reading is where the reader learns how to writer better and a writer learns how to read better. The books to read and the topic to choose. The subject to write and the writing style to follow.
Writing is a journey.
Reading is also a journey.
We become better writer and reader with more writing and more reading. This needs practice and more practice to excel as a writer and also a reader. Reading is such a fundamental aspect of our life that generally we take it for granted and unless subjected to the regime of education compulsion we give up the habit of reading. In school and college we are forced to read. As we enter the arena of working we suddenly stop working on our habit of reading and writing is something more tougher to work out. Unless we are passionate about our writing we feel the heat of writing regularly and regularize our working towards good writing.
Writing changes the way we read.
Reading changes the way we write.
Writing is literally life to me and reading is figuratively the air that I breathe. I feel suffocated when I keep myself away from the regime of reading. The health of my writing suffers the moment I break my habit of reading.
Breathing is not only an important process of taking in oxygen but it also plays a significant role in nurturing our thinking, improving our memory and building our emotional quotient. It is fascinating to state that our complex life process depends on this simple act of breathing. The process of breathing is at the heart of the art of meditation. And by religiously practicing meditation we change the way we live our life and it harbors mindfulness and we start living a much more meaningful life.
Reading crafts such significance in the life of our writing, religious practice of reading takes our writing to a whole new world…the journey is sublime and the experience is surreal.
Nihar R Pradhan