After posting A Page a Day, I came across a fellow blogger’s post about not writing everyday and realized I needed to expound of that point. To be a good writer it is important to write and write a lot, but there so much more to it than that. Practice makes perfect and writing everyday is good practice, but there is more to that practice than just writing.
Becoming a Proficient Writer
To became a skilled writer don’t just write – read, learn and critique along with writing. If you want to learn a skill what do you do? You read up on it, you research, you look at the examples of others along with practicing said skill. It’s the same for writing.
Writing everyday is a good start, but if you write everyday for a year without going out and learning about writing, without reading stories or articles, without reviewing grammar rules, story structure and character studies, you’ll more than likely end up with a bunch of writing that is unusable. Writing is a skill that’s learned. Even for the people that it comes naturally too, they still have to work at it. Writing is also a learn-as-you-go-along skill. No matter how long you’ve been at it, there is always something new to learn.
More Ways to Practice
There are so many resources out there today for writers. Books, blogs, websites. Take advantage of them. Go online, search through the library, materiel is out there, you just have to go find it. Here are a few that I have used.
–The One Year Adventure Novel writing curriculum – by Daniel Schwabaurer
–A Writer’s Coach – by Jack Hart
–Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft – by Janet Burroway
–Comma Sense: A fundamental guide to punctuation by Richard Ledder and John Shore
One of the things that tremendously helped me as a writer was critiquing for others. By finding flaws in other’s works, I was able to more easily find flaws in my own writing. If you know someones else who is a writer, share your work with each other and go over it together. Find a writer’s forum where people post pieces to be critiqued. Start a critique group at your school. Whatever you do, critiquing is not only helpful to the person receiving the critique, it’s helpful for the person giving it.
Reviewing basic grammar rules, sentence structure etc. is a good idea. You might feel like you’re back in grade school, but if you want to write well, keeping your mind refreshed on the rules of writing is never a bad idea.
It’s just that – read. Why did we want to be writer’s in the first place? Because we love to read. (Well, that’s true for me anyway.) I’ve found when I haven’t read a good novel in a while, writing just doesn’t seem possible. Books are like fuel. Out minds need them, our imaginations need them. Keep a reading list so when you’re not sure what book to read next you can refer to said list.
Writing not only involves disciplining yourself to do it, it involves disciplining and training your mind as well. Writing everyday will give you lots of practice putting words on paper, but studying and learning the skills will help you learn how to write well and make those words on paper came to life.