Monday, July 13, 2009

The importance of writing everyday

One of the most important pieces of advice I ever received is that writer write. Some days it is only a little, but some days it is a lot. I think it is the only way to get better. And to write better you have to push yourself, to write each piece of work with more emotion, more description, more clarity than you wrote earlier. For there are also saying such as,"if you keep doing what you're doing you keep getting what you have."

With this in mind, I thought I would take some time to reflect on my writing. Is it getting better or is it the same old thing? And more importantly, would I really know?

They say a writer needs to have very tough skin. After having sending my work to various contest, critique groups and agents I think I am seeing the errors of my ways. As I rework some of the works I completed several years ago I think I am very glad it did not get published. Yes, it was terrible.

One of the best pieces of advice I was given earlier is to keep a notebook of errors I made in writing. I now constantly refer to it in polishing my work. While I think my education at several universities helped, I think the University of hard knocks has moved me along much more.

I also think the harder it is to obtain a goal the more valuable the prize is when it is obtained. It also makes me appreciate the great writers out there by knowing what they also went through to be where they are. While I'm sure some writers are borne with natural ability, I think most have to work at it like everyone else.

With small victories, a contest win or a request from a top agent, the journey to becoming published is an interesting life full of doing what I really want to do--write.

Johnny Ray

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