I am no word master, nor can I spit out some funky rhymes but writing was something I always found I was good at it as a kid. I used to try ‘publishing’ my own books on printer paper with my own six year-old Crayola drawings as the cover. I even tried writing my own comic.
Now, I’ve found that I don’t particularly love writing as much as I did. I don’t write with the same enthusiasm seeing that my copywriting job at BCBG and my double majors in Creative Writing and Communications Public Relations really wrings me out dry.
Yet, I’m still ‘good’ at it.
A friend of mine asked me how he could improve articulating his thoughts. Despite as ‘naturally good’ as I always just thought I was, there’s definitely rhyme and reason as to how I became this way.
In 5th grade we had an Accelerated Reader program where you took comprehensive tests on the books you read and depending on the difficulty of the book, you would gain more points.
This was a fun way to get kids to read, especially since there was a huge cookie prize for the top winner. Of course, I wanted to be at the top of the class so I read.
What I learned: Read! Read a wide variety. Read challenging literature, or works with an elevated jargon. Then read short blurbs or blog posts (like the one you’re reading now).
I personally like the works of Haruki Murakami for fiction, Jane Hirshfield for poetry, and of course, articles on how to improve my brand.
Naturally, your vocabulary will broaden (whether in reading, writing or speaking) and you will have less trouble expressing your thoughts!
I noticed that reason why I gravitate towards YouTubers such as Jenn Im and Claire Marshall isn’t because of their style and personality, but because they’re well-read when they speak. As a viewer, I feel smarter listening to them sometimes because of their eloquence.
Of course, being around those who use the extent of their vocabulary well will motivate you to speak at the same level, but eliminating filler words has help me become more confident and sure of myself in conversation.
Dress via ZNU / Fur via Ebay / Heels via Forever 21
My cousin was the one that pointed this out. He would actually ignore me once I used ‘like‘ or ‘uhm’.
What I learned: As annoying as it was, it was effective. People listened to me more and what I said impacted them because I wasn’t thinking of what to say.
I knew what I wanted to say.
In essence, being well-spoken or well-read translates through everything. No matter what industry or community you’re involved in, if you can walk the walk, you better be able to talk the talk.
Photography by Justin Quebral