I am an award-winning freelance writer. Telling that I started learning English on 2004 is shocking to the generality of people. How can you be a freelance writer after few years of learning English? How can you win an award in journalism?!
The above-mentioned are some questions you might be asking yourself now. The answer is simple. I followed the right learning steps.
Many students have been studying English for many years, but they can’t write well at all. The most shocking example is an English forum member who has been studying for 10 years. But he wrote something like this:
“i studied english for 10 years but i can’t write english i need help pls forum members.”
As you can see, there are few appalling mistakes in what he wrote. He should have written it this way:
“I have been studying English for 10 years, but I can’t write good English. I need help from the forum members, please.”
This student has been studying English for 10 years but cannot write correctly. I have managed to be an award-winning freelance writer after 6 years of learning English. What’s the secret here?
Just like you, this student might have tried studying grammar rules and reading famous English novels. To be honest, I didn’t do much of all that. I just learned how to write by magic. That’s what I thought, at least. But now, I know how that happened and what the stepping stones are.
It all started when I went to the university on 2004. My major was English Studies because my English was great (Great only in my mind). The truth was that I couldn’t even spell “what’s your name” correctly.
Needless to say, my first class at the university was horrible. I couldn’t understand the professor as he was speaking really fast with stunning, flawless English. That was a tough test for me realizing my English was not as good as I had thought. After some classes, I couldn’t keep up. So I just left and didn’t go to any classes. I suffered a lot from that and I was so frustrated. My life was going from bad to worse. I stopped studying for about 1 year and a half. To give you an idea of how my English was back then, I’ll show you something I wrote on my first writing class. I’ll write it for you here, but I’ll also show you the actual paper.
family is small
first, My fammily is very smaller, I like theis,. It’s true, the huge family has some advantages, but, to live in the big family is to be directly exposed to many obstacles, Some of theis, parents find it difficult to cure for their children’s health and education properly. Consequently, My family have not exposed to theis many obstacles. I have 2 sister and 2 brothers, My brother —– is get married for a 1 years ago, my sister is also get married for a 6 years ago, my sisters studies English, because she needte speake English In order to communicat with different people.
I love my family.
I don’t have to show you the mistakes. I actually tried to highlight them but I discovered that I need to highlight the whole text.
The above is the first thing I wrote at the university. The professor was shocked and couldn’t really take it.
* Later on, this exact same professor gave me the first mark in college for my research paper. She didn’t remember me but she loved the way I write and was praising me in front of other students. *
As I previously said, I felt so frustrated and left the university. I couldn’t do anything else and spent most of the time on the Internet. I had an online friend and we used to talk in English everyday.
The type of English I used to write didn’t differ much from the type of English I used in the above text. You can say that we were writing randomly without caring much about the language. Here is an example:
You should know that I die in shame when I read such things now. But this has been a source of fun as well. When I read things like:
“i ll listen to sth help me now,, or help me in futur”
I smile 🙂. I smile not just because of the funny tone the words have, but also because I know that I have improved dramatically.
All I was doing at that time was talking to my friends and spending time online. I couldn’t go back to the university because I was frustrated. Until one day…
One day, someone suggested that I join a school and I did. I joined the American Language School (ALS). I studied there and I was improving. Then, I met a teacher who changed my life.
The teacher was very nice and made me believe in me. And because he was so kind-hearted, I asked him to give me some of his books to read. He suggested that I read the ALS books because they were a lot easier than his books. I did get the ALS books and they were really helpful and I’ll later tell you why. The books were written for beginner, intermediate and advanced students. This means that students can pick up the books that suit their English knowledge. The books I used to read were similar to the ones below:
The books were written in simple-to-understand-English. I was so excited reading them that I read each book twice on the same day! The reason why I felt so excited was because I understood almost all words. That made me believe in my abilities and that’s how I started improving.
The way I used to write changed then. I’ll provide you with some examples. The writing pieces I’ll show you are not really great, but when you compare them with my first writing piece at the university, you will see some improvement:
I would like to join Easy on Men organization. I have a degree in law, so I want to be the lawyer of this organization. I’d love to work with people who have the same plans and the same thinking. This organization helps people who suffer from life, especially men. There are a lot of organizations that work on women right, but there are few that work on men right. I hope to get enough experience, so that I can be the founder of a new organization for men. Finally, don’t worry men, help is coming.
My favorite holiday is my birthday. It’s a special day for me. I know you are probably thinking I only like it because I get presents and praise from my family and friends, or you might think that the likes of me should not have a birthday cake. But the thing is that not all of people celebrate birthdays in the usually way, cake, candy, dry fruits, etc. Some people, including me, see that day differently. The birthday for me is an opportunity to think about what I have been doing for twenty years, what I have achieved, what I have lost, and what are the rights steps I must follow to win back lost things. It is the day when I proofread the pages of my past, and try to correct the mistakes. Life is not always easy; it is not always a bowl of cherries, you need to keep your eyes peeled if you want to make it easy.
I latterly saw My Fair Lady. It is the best movie musical ever made. It is based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion. The story is about a flower girl called Eliza who wanted to learn how to speak properly in order to change her life to the better. The story gives an idea about the social classes in English on (in) the twentieth century and how they were separated because of money, appearance, and speech. Also, the story stresses the importance of education and try (tries) to make people aware of its great value. The movies states that only Cinderella changed by a magic wand and others should rely on education to change their lives.
When I compared my writing to the first thing I wrote in my writing class at the university, I felt good about my improvement. So I decided to go back to the university.
My improvement was not enough and didn’t really help me much, but I was doing fine. This was because of my positive thinking. I was quite determined unlike before. I managed to pass my tests. The marks weren’t great, but I did my best.
Then I felt the need for more improvement. I decided to join a website to learn more. So I joined an English forum. I spent some days thinking about introducing myself on the forum because I doubted my skills. I said to myself: “they would laugh when they read my writing”.
I used to visit the forum beginner section because I thought I couldn’t write in another section where advanced learners and native speakers write. But one day I decided to write about myself. The reply I got from a learning coach changed my life. He said:
“Welcome to ——– and many thanks for your interesting introduction … Also, how did you achieve such an outstanding level of English? … When did you start learning English and what do you think are the best learning methods?”
How did you achieve such an outstanding level of English? This was shocking to me because I didn’t think I have an outstanding level of English. It turned out I did. I just was not confident enough to believe that.
After that, I started to write on the sections were native speakers write. I did not find any problem communicating with them.
After discovering that my English level was outstanding for the learning coach, I started to truly believe in myself. The way I write both at the university and ALS shockingly improved. The teacher we talked about before was really surprised when he read this writing piece:
Identifying the causes of stress and making a stand to weather them are the first steps toward relaxation. It is futile trying to relax when one does not even know the cradle of stress. Therefore, one must ponder for a moment to know what prevents him or her from relaxing. If stress stems from everyday worries, one should get away from the hectic pace of city life and visit a place that has an aura of quietness. Reminding one’s self that daily worries are unavoidable facts of life and that everyone suffers from them will certainly make the trouble seem picayune.
If stress does not stem from day-to-day responsibilities, one ought to find the whereabouts of the main culprits first, and then try his or her utmost to deal with them. It is vain to rely on relaxation techniques when occasional problems are the causes of stress because they only unwind in small doses. One should try to unravel the knots of those problems instead of looking for some fleeting moments of relaxation. Recognizing the sources of stress and mustering one’s forces to deal with them are two of the first steps toward relaxation.
He couldn’t believe I wrote that. He thought that it was hard for a 5 year old English learner to come up something well-written like this.
All this made me surer about my abilities. I started to think about writing online. I checked different websites and found what I like. I started to write my articles on Helium.com.
On the website, the writers are paid based on the number of articles they write. They can also participate on writing contests, earn money and can sell their articles.
My first article was deleted because I didn’t follow the guidelines. I later learnt how to write and submit articles there. I managed to earn money, sell some of my articles and win on writing contests. More importantly, I won an award in journalism. Here are some evidence:
My Sold Articles:
My Earned Money:
My Journalism Award:
I also got e-mails from different writers praising my writing.
Now it is time to compare how I used to write in 2005 and how I write now. This comparison is so important because it is an additional proof of my improvement.
This is a Part of my Article “Are future wars going to be fought over water or will leaders be able to resolve conflicts as they have many times in the past?”
In the past, Hassan II, the late king of Morocco whose name is associated with the international award “The King Hassan II Great World Water Prize”, foretold how the world would suffer water shortages when the generality of leaders showed favoritism towards industrial expansion. At present, the late king’s prediction has come true and water shortage has become a global problem. This problem has become a source of conflicts to the degree that some predict that future wars will be fought over it. Will this prediction come true just as the late king’s one did?
Aaron T. Wolf, a professor of geography in the Department of Geosciences at Oregon State University, said in his research that there were no wars over water except for 37 military acts between states. Israel and its neighbors were involved in thirty of these acts. It is crystal clear that countries in the Middle East are the ones likely to fight over water. However, in actual fact, water will not be the driving force of the war.
They are not liable to fight by virtue of water scarcity. To put it rather differently, water shortage will only add insult to injury and trigger the already existing problems between these countries. Bearing in mind the deep-seated Arab-Israeli conflict, future wars between them should not be called water wars for the simple reason that the dearth of this liquid will not be the main culprit. But will it be the primary cause of war between other countries?
Anders Jaegerskog of the Stockholm International Water Institute said that it takes quite a reach of imagination to envisage how one wins a water war. He said: “If you conquer territory to gain control over a river you still have to provide water to people living there.” Therefore, this could not be called “taking control” by any stretch of imagination since you still have to dispense the real owners of the river. This begs the question of why there should be a war in the first place.
I am 100% sure that you agree with me on the fact that my writing improved sensationally well in a very short time. To be able to write the aforesaid article, you need to spend at least 10 years studying English and reading books. I did not spend that much time and I have achieved the same result.
The purpose of this blog is to help you achieve the same in a short period of time. My mission is to help you write better through using my 2-1-3 Method and smart words. I am passionate about phrases and expressions and I enjoy using them to elevate my writing. I share all of them here in my blog and I show you how to use them.