The only way anybody ever learns to write well

"The only way anybody ever learns to write well is by trying to write well. This usually begins by reading good writing by other people, and writing very badly by yourself, for a long time.”


I joined LingQ in 2008 and have been posting comments on the forum since then. I suppose I have been writing very badly for a long time. This is the four thousand, one hundred and thirty-sixth post.

My number of “Total LingQs” is only 984. My favorite writers include George Orwell, W. Somerset Maugham, and Kazuo Ishiguro. I enjoy reading their works with a pencil in my hand. I am not interested in what you call LingQing; you might say I am living in the Stone Age.

(I wonder why this site is always in “pre-beta” test mode; LingQ should not waste its valuable human resources on continuously “renovating” the appearance of the site. Why do they not want to show us lists of more than the latest 25 threads on the forums? I suspect that they do not think older threads are worth reading.)

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Have you tried Murakami in English yet? It might be interesting for you to see how he translates into English.
(As to the ever increasing quality of your posts here, it proves the aptness of “practice makes perfect”.) [I am such a flatterer! Not!]

I once tried to read one of his novels in Japanese, but I couldn’t read it through for some reason—probably because it is simply not my taste in literature. Personally I feel that Kazuo Ishiguro is greater than Haruki Murakami. I should read your novels, in which I have more interest than in Murakami’s

Seeing that my writing has come to a standstill - I’ve even taken down my blog - you may have to wait quite a long time to see anything of mine published. But then, you are a patient man, aren’t you?

Yes, I am a very patient person except when it comes to “ever-renovating” websites. Incidentally, the name of a bookshop that you mentioned somewhere reminded me of some summer weeks I spent staying at a small hotel in Bloomsbury, London. “Waterstone’s” is the name of the bookshop. What a lovely name it has!

I wonder if it was called “Dillons” in the 1990s.

Sorry for the delay in replying. Yes, it was Dillon’s with Blackwell’s right next to it. And now that you point it out, Waterstone is a lovely name. And Blackwell, too, could have a deeper meaning (pun intended). Some surnames give us clues as to the profession of the original bearer or about their place of origin, but you do have that in Japan as well, don’t you?

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Bookstore wars are brewing…