Writing is like sex. Yes, sex.

A familiar question that comes up in a newspaper is, how can we get our reporters and correspondents to write well, and how can we get our sub-editors to chop and change poorly written stuff into something more readable, acceptable?

The answer is, “there is no one single way”.

Scientists and researchers may announce the most earthshaking discovery and invention day after day, but—thank god—there will never be a day when there will be an AP or Reuters story that says a magic pill or injection or machine has been discovered to write or sub better.

In other words, to write better, to edit better, we really ought to fall in love with words.You can do that only by reading more and soaking in more and absorbing more till the damn thing rubs off on you.

Reading at least one new (English) book a fortnight, reading one fine piece a day, going to the dictionary to find out meanings every now and then, solving crosswords, etc, are some ways the old fogeys will say you must follow.

The other way is to use the internet much better than we do. There are dozens of websites which offer online exercises, advice and more. Subscribe to free services like word-a-day which is provided by Anu Garg at wordsmith.org

Unless we develop a passion for words, we will never ever write better.

So, why is writing like sex? As the great Sol Stein—one of the top editors of all time said—good writing is writing that is pleasurable to both sides, the writer and the reader.

Otherwise, it is—you know what—masturbation and you might as well do it you know where..


  1. Niranjan

    Sakhatagide!!! this is perhaps the most assertive way to explain such a difficult task. It looks like the original writer an ardent worshipper of Osho and i could see the shadow of his philosophy in every line.
    I believe if not in other field, at least in this field writing is discipline and inevitable

  2. To be very frank if I had been taught on the same lines during my college days, I would have won all the writing competitions. Hope its never too late. Woh! Enjoy and let others to enjoy your creations in a way sexy manner.

  3. “30 is not so young or not old. But viable diable age”. This is a sentence in Arundati Roy’s novel ‘God of Small Things’. She played with words, just words which makes me so fond of her writings.
    ‘If I know plenty of words, I can play with them’- this is how one of my friends says always, shortly after he completes his short story.
    As I think, if I eat more words, then I can vomit more stuff. Writing is like a ‘tapassu’ or meditation which gives relief.

  4. naive

    naive, friends, naive. all editors have only one grouse against subs and reporters — they rape the story. where is sex and enjoyment by both or multiple partners in rape. as long as sex exists, editors and subs and reporters are like the twain that shall never meet. Editors will continue to talk about how sex is beautiful and enjoyable when it is a two-way traffic and subs and reporters will continue R.. ng. Poor reader. u know he needs to be…….

  5. 'sub'missive

    Need more reason to blog more? Here http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1057530

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