Writing involves not only good technique but also personal investment. It involves practice and learning.
An acquaintance said recently that practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. In other words, if we continue to repeat our mistakes, we are not getting any closer to perfection.
Michael J. Fox said he doesn’t aim for perfection but for excellence.
Sometimes it’s a matter of semantics. The key is to do our best at whatever we are doing, and that will always require effort, practice, and time.
Here are seven key points that will, in my opinion, help us to grow our writing:
1. Keep writing regularly. This is the practice part, the refining, the trial and error.
2. Keep reading. This is the activity that helps us get the feel of good writing (and poor writing).
3. Keep learning. Attend workshops and conferences, take courses online or through books, videos, etc.
4. Polish your writing. Strive for excellence. Don’t ever say, “Good enough.” Be the best you can be.
5. Publish. This step helps us commit to finishing a project, whether it’s a blog, a guest post or a novel.
6. Market. Oh, bother! This is my greatest challenge in the writing arena. But what do we have to lose? If we want people to read our writing, we must make it and ourselves available. Try writing in a new genre or point of view. Try writing at a different time of day or a location more conducive for you. Subscribe to a new social medium that you’ve so far avoided. Can’t hurt. Then analyze the advantages and disadvantages and refine your lists to what works for you. Most new things become manageable with practice and familiarity. Some remain useless and can be scrapped. But give them a chance. Note: if you don’t have a website, create one. You can do it yourself or ask someone else to do it for you. Without a website, you won’t be searchable.
7. Share. One of the best ways to learn is to share what you know or what you’re learning. Again, use blogs, guest blogs or various social media to accomplish this. It will invariably help strengthen your knowledge and understanding of the topic, method or genre (or show you where you need to bone up a bit).
So let’s keep writing and encouraging each other to strive for excellence.
Janice Dick writes historical and contemporary fiction, inspirational articles and book reviews. She also edits and presents writing workshops.