Friday, March 20, 2015
Writing: Improving Our Craft
Look at it this way. I enjoy golf. But if I'm to take the boomerang out of the trajectory of my drives or hit putts that don't scoot ten feet past the hole, I'm going to have to spend some time on the driving range and putting green, making adjustments to my stroke to achieve what I want. The same goes for writing.
Every writer knows that first and foremost we must produce the best possible work. That means polishing, revising, sometimes cutting and replacing large chunks of our work-in-progress until we're satisfied. Before we get to this point, we have to master the fundamentals of character development, point of view, vocabulary, and many other things. Once we have those down so they're second nature, we're ready to proceed. Unfortunately, some writers don't go very far down this path.
Most of us want to get better with each book, and that's why we never feel as though we've "arrived." Although no writer ever achieves perfection, we should always seek to improve our craft. We may not like it, any more than I like going to the practice range for golf, but it goes with the territory. There are some writers--best-selling writers--who seem content to stay right where they are, churning out work that corresponds to an established template. They don't appear to have any real motivation to get even better at their craft. But they're in the minority.
So, Lauri, I don't necessarily enjoy continually working to improve my craft, but I do it because that is part of what being a writer means.
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Image courtesy of Naypong at FreeDigitalPhotos.net