It was only yesterday that I fully realized the importance of story telling and good technical writing skills that we as writers have to hone (for me at least).
We went to the police to file a blotter regarding an incident with our neighbor (I’ll tell the full story on a later post). And so all of a sudden, I have to recall every detail of every encounter that we had with this pesky neighbor, including the time, setting (on where are each and everyone involved is situated), and the actual conversation in verbatim as much as possible.
I am a poor story teller and I have a lot of difficulties recounting the events but I was compelled to complete the mental picture of what transpired in order to tell the officer how things exactly happened. The policeman jotted the blotter in English, according to how he understood my statements.
When he was done writing, he asked me to affix my signature to the log book containing the blotter. When I read it, the grammar was far from faultless, which is the same for every writer’s first draft but it is enough of a record that would somehow give us some sort of protection. You see, blotters are records written by hand on logbooks which doesn’t get proofread and rewritten for a second time. And so it is very important to read the blotter, being always a “first draft” before affixing your signature. And it is of utmost importance to record the incident in this first draft as accurate as possible.
I realized that the police officer cannot use poetic lines nor use words or clauses with double-meanings, just as I do when writing poetry or whatnots, or else it will paint a different shade on the actual incident. Not all law enforcers though, have faultless grammars as someone who have a post-graduate degree in English but it is necessary that he writes well in English or any other language or dialect that relates the incident as exactly as possible, without any other possible interpretations.
Of all mediums that my words will end up being scribbled at, I never dreamed that any of it will be written in a police blotter. I just had to yesterday, because someone crossed line and so I have to act to protect myself and my family. But even if there is discomfort in writing a factual account with a lot of rules and limitations, there are times when we will be compelled to write as such, as was in my case.
And so once in a while, I find it a good idea to brush up with technical writing, and blogging about structural engineering helps me by instilling in me the required discipline to just shut up and write factually, just as they happen, without my own judgments meddling.
I just need to do a double time because I need to include story telling.