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18 June 2008

Message from Dr Lau: Book Update

Clarity, clarity, clarity….

“Writing is something one can learn,” declared Ayn Rand in The Art of Nonfiction. “There is no mystery about it.”

She should know. She, like me was never formally trained in the art.

In 1969, over 16 evenings, the novelist-philosopher demystified writing in a series of informal lectures given to small group of colleagues. Her lectures were taped, and, 19 years after her death in 1982, edited and published as The Art of Nonfiction.
It came as a surprise to me then, when I learnt that for all her cult status, Rand was not a born writer. At least not in English. She spoke the language only haltingly and did not write a line until the age of 20, soon after she fled Communist Russia to settle in the United States in 1926. It took her years to master her craft, which she eventually did with great aplomb.

My experiences with my book, Health in Your Hands, are somewhat similar. An early lesson that I picked from experts is that effective writing must have three essential components. Clarity, clarity, and clarity.

I also realized that clarity is impossible to achieve with any measure of authenticity without in-depth research, which is why before setting out to pen my thoughts on the nutritional requirement of scoliosis patients, I virtually pored over every written word on the subject. I must have literally read and consulted dozens of books (both print and online), scientific journals, research papers etc., to find out the latest, credible thoughts on nutrition for scoliosis patients with an open, objective, unbiased mind.

I was clear that I didn’t want to go with any position. I was willing to be convinced by any solid, documentary proof. It’s another matter altogether, that my research later revealed more evidence in favor of non-surgical treatment of scoliosis.

Dr Kevin Lau

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