Monday, January 16, 2012

The Write Kind of Improvement

I opened up a word doc this past weekend. It was a story I started when I first began this writing thing. It made me cringe. Then I perked up a little, because I realized my writing HAS gotten better. Sometimes I think I'm not making any sort of improvement when it comes to that facet of my life. But there was actual, undeniable proof right in front of my eyes. It made me happy.
As writers we want to get better at our jobs. Writing is not cut and dry. We always have room to improve. I have a great desire to do just that, to find ways of tweaking my writing that'll make it more meaningful and beautiful. I want to write prose with the ability to bring tears to a reader's eyes. I want to write exchanges between my characters that make a reader laugh out loud. I may not be there yet, but I'm getting there. And I love that my writing is getting stronger, that I'm learning. That this isn't all a waste. There's a reason why when you ask authors for advice on writing numbers one and two are 'go write', and 'go read'. It has back-up people. Take it from me.

As I read Cassandra Clare's newest master piece, I noticed how her writing has also improved. She was the queen of similes, but seems to have toned it down a bit. Her descriptions are masterful, and make me want to cry with jealousy, and they're better than they used to be. To see the progression of someone that's already so well established in this business is something I admire. I love when authors aren't lazy, when you can read the blood, sweat, and tears they put into their writing in between the lines. It means they care, that they want us to love the story as much as they do.

My hope is that I'll continue to make progress, that i'll never be lazy with my words, or stop caring about them. If someday by the grace of God I do get published, I never want my readers to feel like I'm getting lax with my writing, or stories. I want to always have confidence in my ability to create a piece of work worth buying. And more than that, I want my readers to have that confidence in me.

In conclusion, keep writing. Don't stop. It'll get better. Maybe not easier, but you'll find your ability to get through a chapter without the sinking feeling of hopelessnes crushing you from the inside increasing. And, if nothing else, go read something you wrote a year earlier to make yourself feel better. I guarantee that if you've been writing consistently, you'll notice the improvement. Oh, and NEVER be lazy with your words.


  1. I agree, I think it's a smart thing to do, remind yourself of what you have accomplished rather than only focus on what you haven't yet...

    Wonderful post :)

  2. I think that's such a great attitude. Thanks for such a great post.

  3. It's amazing when you realize how much you've grown as a writer, isn't it? I think there's always room for improvement. Wonderful post!

  4. This is awesome and so true! You took the words right out of my mouth! Sometimes it's hard to notice our progress, but if you look at something from "a while" back, you can definitely see it! Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Fantastic post. I notice that a lot too. I like seeing authors' progress from their first novel onward. I can definitely see the difference in what I write now compared what I wrote ten years ago and even just last year.

  6. Such good words of advice! Funny, I needed to hear this right now...

  7. Love your last line in this post. never be lazy with words. Such a great piece of advice. My thesaurus is permanently attached to my hip. I love that little piece of heaven, never let's me down.

    Improving is us telling ourselves we're learning and taking the time to get serious. I've heard to allow yourself five years to reach a goal (quitting smoking, walking an hour a day, writing)... and so far the success stories are proven.

  8. thanks for the love, guys! It's easy to over criticize ourselves. I know I tend to do it...way more than I'd like to admit. But the truth is we need to have more confidence in our ability to write, and write well. That's why I like to open up old docs. to see that progress. And yeah, no laziness here with the writing.

  9. Hehe! Thanks Prerna. Perfect post for the dramatic conclusion to my own CHAPTER OF EVIL. I totally DO see a difference. And even though in this draft I, too, am the queen of smiles, I hope to fix it in editing. This IS the "write" kind of improvement, and for that, I am thankful.

    Lots of love,