How to Improve Your Chinese Writing – Doodlingkriswarner88
The way to get good at doing anything is repetition, and writing Chinese is no exception. The most important thing with Chinese words is actually to be able to READ them, not write them. But you should also be able to write characters – not all of them, but at least some. The more you write them, the more deeply the concept at the heart of Chinese words is pushed into your brain. It’s pictorial to an extent that is not true of any other written language in the world. Each character is a little picture, so why not draw some pictures?
Doodling used to be a big deal in life. Everyone had a pen in their hands for most of the day, and in between taking notes, they would doodle in the margins. Now, pen and paper use has fallen away with the rise of the computer and smart phone, but it’s still a great way to take notes, and doodling Chinese characters over and over again as you daydream during a conference call helps you get used to writing.
The important thing with characters is that you write the strokes in the correct order. There are lots of moving gif images on the web that show you how to do each one. Whether the character looks good or not, well proportioned etc, is not crucial, but the stroke order is.
Choose a character on a printed page, or perhaps a piece of calligraphy, and try and reproduce one character with the same balance of the lines. Then do it again. And again. Until your brain turns off and your hand is doing it on auto-pilot.
Once you’ve done individual characters for a while, choose a simple saying or phrase to use for doodling purposes. And then a short poem, why not. Memorize it, and doodle it out. You are then part of a tradition stretching back thousands of years. You are a Confucian scholar!
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