On Thursday evening, the Qatari Forum for Authors broadcast a lecture entitled “Why I Read and Why I Write” presented by Mr. Ahmed Al-Rashed on the Forum channel on YouTube, as part of preparations for launching the campaign “Launch your thoughts with your pen” in the beginning of July.
Al-Rashed spoke at the beginning of the lecture about the importance of the book from a religious standpoint considering that God Almighty made the Qur’an an eternal miracle and a constitution for the Islamic nation. It develops and progresses with reading, thought, culture, deep awareness and correct conclusion.
And he said that God Almighty made the Qur’an a constitution of the nation and it is evidence of the importance of the book. This importance comes from three basic elements associated with the book, the first of which is reading, as the first verse in the Qur’an “Read.” The second element is writing, and it is also in the book of God, in the same Surah “who taught with a pen”,
The third element, it is reflection and contemplation in reading and writing, if the process of reading and writing loses its meaning without thinking, and the evidence for this is the saying of God, “so that they contemplate His verses,” as it is necessary to extract the idea from reading and from proposing an idea when writing.
He presented a set of basic conditions for the success of the reading and writing process, which are the presence of determination, continuity and enjoyment, given that determination is the key to reading, as there is usually restlessness, lack of time, boredom that the reader feels, but it must be fought through persistence and allocating a short period of time that could be 5 minutes at the beginning and perseverance on this habit that becomes part of the daily routine, this short period will turn day after day into a longer period subconsciously, and the reader finds himself has gone a long way in Reading without feeling, then he reaches the stage of enjoyment and reading becomes nourishment for the soul, and the reader will automatically seek to practice reading. The second step is to allocate the appropriate time and place to practice reading, which becomes an essential element in the daily schedule. The third stage is to reach the stage of forming the skill of choosing books, which is a stage that cannot be reached to, except after going through the previous stages, where the reader will be able to choose books that suit his idea and inclinations.
The next stage is the stage of coming up with ideas from the book, developing the analytical ability and coming to conclusions, where the reader obtains a high cognitive power to understand between the lines and does not stop at the line and the apparent meaning of the word, but rather reveals what is behind it after putting it in its social, historical and geographical and cultural context.
Mr. Al-Rashed advised to read some books that he considered useful and must be viewed, which are the book “The Sheikh and the Sea” by Mangoy and the book of “The Sorrows of Young Werther” by Johann Goethe. They are available and easily obtainable books, as they were written in an interesting style and included a distinctive proposal where the owners succeeded in choosing the appropriate words in every situation and in proposing a simple and strong idea at the same time.
He also advised expanding the thought in the next stage by reading some books of Rasputin, Victor Hugo, Marketh, Dostoyevsky, which are books translated into Arabic and available in various bookstores that contain thought, goals and a message in a distinctive style, indicating that access to different works does not necessarily means endorsing the author of the book or sharing his views.
And according to the opinion of the forum guest, the previous stages, and the list of literary books cannot be completed except by reading: “The Fall of Civilization” by Colin Wilson, who said that he collected all previous written experiences, as he took extracts from the aforementioned books and revealed the meanings hidden between the lines, where he divided his book into 20 chapters devoted each chapter of one of the previous writers who left their mark and immortalized their names.
Then Mr. Al-Rashed moved to the second point of the main lecture, “Why do I write” and said that the writer should have a thought, message and vision, whether in short stories, novels, or even letters, and all of them must reach the community.
And he shed light on the most important steps of writing, starting from reading that we do not open the world of writing without it, which enables the writer to learn new methods and create his own style, then the experiment stage through writing all the ideas, as he encouraged writing whatever he wanted to convey a message or express an idea or thought where many new skills and the ability to adapt words will be acquired, and adding the development of the linguistic inventory of accurate and appropriate expressions for each occasion, and the writer has his own style and imprinted his mark in everything he writes, where the words reflect the personality and thought of the owner, indicating that the most important authors in the world adhere to the same method in their various works despite the different ideas and stories they discuss.
At the end of the lecture, Mr. Al-Rashed pointed out the importance of criticism, which he considered a natural process due to the difference in thought and viewpoints, which is a necessary process for improving the work, stressing that criticism must be directed to the work and not to its owner, explaining that it is evidence of the writer’s diligence in communicating his thought and vision.