25 June 2012

A Professional Writer...

A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit - Richard Bach.

How true this is.  There are things I've tried and given up very quickly, coming to the conclusion it wasn't for me.  Obviously I wasn't that compelled by the activity in the first place.  The writing equivalent are those who say 'Someday I'll write a book', or people who have three or four first chapters sitting on their hard drive and never progress them.

To be good at anything you have to work at it.  With the Olympics coming up I will no doubt marvel at the speed people can run, and how graceful and talented the gymnasts are etc.  I'll daydream how it would be to do those things, and push away the thought of the hours of practice and training required.

Writing is just the same.  To be any good at it we need to write, and keep on writing through the rejections, competitions not won, and manuscripts returned with (possibly) a compliments slip.

I look at some of my earlier writing and shudder.  How could I have thought it was so great?  Today I can see where it's weak, the places I told the story rather than showing, the clunky dialogue and - well you get the picture.

Some of them had a good idea at their heart, and those I've taken and worked on and improved.  A couple of them have since been published.

I am just as certain that in a few years I'll look back at the things I write today and will see how they can be improved.  That's the nature of the business.  We have to give ourselves permission not to be the greatest when we first start, but also not give up on ourselves, and keep on learning and practising.

No comments:

Post a Comment