Welcome! Read the latest issue of PROGRESS, featuring inclusive programming in Virginia. Read PROGRESS

The Power of Writing

by Heidi Gao

My name is Heidi Gao, and I was born in a poor Chinese family. I moved to the United States 18 years ago for a better future. Like many immigrant families, language differences often create barriers to communication with our family and society. I eagerly want to improve my speaking and writing skills, then take a GED class to get a better job and integrate into American life.

Some people may be curious to ask me why I am taking an English writing class. In fact, it’s very simple. Besides learning English, writing is my habit. People can write, as long as we write our true feelings from the heart. Counting the benefits of writing, everyone’s understanding and perception are different. Writing is definitely a good thing for the body and mind. The key for writing is to observe, think, and write more.

For me, who is learning English, writing in English is a great challenge. Because there is a big difference between Chinese and English grammar, grammar is the most difficult part for me to write English except for words and punctuation. Sometimes, Chinese cannot be translated directly into English. For example, sometimes I’m still confused about the use of verb tenses in my essay. When I write in English, I need to think in English. It is a wonderful brain exercise.

There are a lot of benefits for being a good writer in English. In our daily life, we need to send messages, e-mails, and fill in worksheets in English, which all require us to strengthen our writing ability. Sometimes, good writing is also conducive to our promotion in the workplace. Thank you so much for the Literacy Volunteers providing me the opportunity to improve my writing skills – with my professional English teacher Dave, learning writing skills is fun! I really appreciate his kindness and time to let us learn English writing skills in a happy and interesting way!

I think writing is a process of continuous thinking and improvement. For me, one powerful way to put my writing into practice is by keeping a gratitude journal. It makes me feel happier, sleep better, improves my mental health, benefits my relationships, and more. People who are good at writing are generally people who love life, are good at observation, and are diligent in thinking. The more you write, the deeper you will feel about life. Writing is a happy thing. May writing accompany us all our life. May each of us start, record every bit of life, write wonderful chapters of life, and create a better life.