Advice for Writers
When I immerse myself in my writing-- attend a writing group, and practice with short works or exercises-- an amazing thing happens. My writing gets better. How can I tell? I edit less, the tone stays consistent, and I can feel emotion in what I wrote. As with any activity, practice makes perfect. There is a reason that a professional basketball player will throw thousands of free throws in the off season. Because they know that when they’re at the foul line, they don’t want to have to think about where their hand goes on the ball or how they position their feet. They want to do it by rote or at least have some muscle memory.
Writers aren’t any different. There’s a groove, a writing nirvana that comes from constant work, and makes us better at our craft. I don’t know how to describe it any other than to say you’ll know when it’s happening. I know I’ve hit the proverbial ‘sweet spot’ when I lose three or four hours and have that ‘I don’t know where I am’ feeling when I finally look up from the computer screen. I’m usually amazed at how much I’ve gotten done and find there is little to edit.
So my advice is this: Write. Write as much as you can. Write anything you can. Spend some time with other people that write. Write about things that are hard to articulate or require research. Write about simple things. Write about a time in your life that made you face or deal with an emotion you’d rather not. Write something funny. Write about a current event. Write it and read it out loud. And then write some more.