Everybody knows how subjective writing is. What one person sees as good, another does not. Everybody prefers a different style of writing and they drift towards those pieces. But, then there are those pieces that everybody seems to like, and I guess that defines good writing, but I think that’s a part of why some people don’t like writing. They don’t like putting in the work and knowing that it might not fulfill the standards of someone else. I know I’m like that, but I’m getting better at not caring so much about it. It makes the writing process goes smoother.
I would argue that a lot of engineers do not like writing (there are exceptions of course), and a reason why (I think) they don’t is because they are immersed in the world of objectivity. When they step foot into subjectivity, they shy away from it because it’s not natural to them. With numbers, there’s a definite right or wrong whereas in writing, the line is more blurred. I’m in between these worlds of objectivity and subjectivity. Sometimes it’s hard to convey exactly what I mean and the weird part is that it seems unclear to someone else, but it feels clear to me. With numbers, I know that misinterpretation is less likely. Since ideas are not painstakingly obvious to the reader, it means that as the writer I have to be a better communicator and I know I am improving as a person even though it gets frustrating at times.
My friend said she doesn’t like writing because her papers aren’t “good.” What really defines good? One person’s opinion? Three people’s? People’s dislike of writing is tied to how good people think they are at it. I think it is not a good reason to dislike something, just because you’re not good at it. I’m not good at video games, but I still enjoy playing them. You don’t have to be good at something to like it. I know people want to succeed at what they’re doing, but they should write even if they’re not that “successful.” As the writer, a person controls part of the definition of success.
Because there’s this subjectivity in writing, writers need to be more conscious of their audience because everybody has certain preferences. Writing is a more conscious effort than say plugging in numbers in a calculator (nothing against numbers people!). When I’m working on a paper, there are times when it feels like I am always thinking about it. I’ll be in the middle of something and I’ll think “I don’t like this wording” or “What more can I add?” The writing process is always there even hidden in the subconscious.
Some people might view subjectivity as not the best or their favorite thing in the world, but it adds a little zing to life. It’s because of subjectivity that people refine and develop their taste. It’s how they know what they like and don’t like. It affects writing because readers learn what styles of writings they like which means they can write with that style in mind. Writers craft some of the style and exquisiteness in life.