“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot, learn, unlearn and relearn”.
– American Futurist, Alvin Toffler
In a world where the half-life of skills is shrinking, we have to get comfortable with the idea of learning and re-learning, just like Alvin Toffler says in his famous quote above.
However, what Alvin neglected to specify (although it is, in my opinion implied) is that reading are writing are still essential skills required in order to learn and relearn at the pace required to keep up with the rate of change.
In fact, I would suggest that the ability to read, fast and write, fluidly are the two most important skills required for future of work.
Until Elon Musk and co perfect the technology required to input information directly into our brains though computer chips or mind-programming, reading is still the single most efficient way to get information into your memory, the fastest way to learn anything.
And, the ability to write – not the ability to type or reproduce letters on a page – but the ability to write poetry and prose, to construct an elegant sentence, and articulate a structured argument, is essential if you hope to add your ideas to the body of human knowledge, or to persuade anyone to come around to your point of view (or even just to give you a contract job).
And you will not find a better book on the art of writing clearly and well than Stephen King’s On Writing.
Read it, and write.
“Reading is like breathing in, writing is like breathing out.”
– Pam Allyn