We all know that nobody is born as a good writer. It is a constant process of becoming. And I do believe that the difference between good and bad writers it’s not about the skill or gift. It’s not even about the number of written or published pieces. The key word we are looking for is persistence.
Good writer is writing – no matter how many times he fails or writes crappy work. He is there showing up every day, practicing and trying to improve himself. Not only writing, but everything that goes with writing.
In that sense, I think that biggest secret every good writer knows and we often forget is how good writer treats his bad writing. First, he takes time to write, erase, rewrite, edit, tailor every word to what’s need to be written. And how does he know what’s need to be written? He is attuned to his inner-self and follows the voice that drives him to write. Once you master to recognize that voice, you will know if what you wrote is good or bad.
The second essential part here is also his relationship to criticism. He is persistent, not afraid to try, to let his work be judged by the public eye. He knows how to tame his ego and accept constructive advice that can only help him become better and improve his writing.
Good writer is not writing because there is nothing else to do or simply he likes recreationally to scribble. There is ingrained need in him that he has to tell something, his story needs to be written. It’s not a job. It’s not a work. It’s almost like breathing.
Many writers do achieve certain level in their skill and they are determined that it’s all there is. They believe, by default anything they write is good and not subjected to alteration. In reality, what happens is that fear of failure is greater than desire to produce really good piece which requires additional effort and time. And frankly, often their writing is not even close to be good as they think.
Being defensive about the quality of your work is not going to make you a good writer.
So what can you do?
You can make a decision to be different and take responsibility for your writing. Go and write that extra page that many aspiring writers are not prepared to. Put an extra hour and improve that paragraph that has been bugging you. Be brave and send your poem to that journal you’ve been reluctant to do for so many months.
That’s how you become a better writer: with stillness to listen and eagerness to change. Are you ready?
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