Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Room for Improvement

Recently I began rewriting essays that I had completed (and in most instances published) some 15-20 years ago.  And in rereading these I have discovered that I am now a much better writer.

I am elated.

A writer should always take the approach that he/she has room for improvement.  Practice, after all, is often the best instructor.  And there is something to be said for experience . . . which most often consists of failure and education by trail-and-error.  

But it's not just the volume written that has helped me to learn, but the years I have dedicated to this pursuit.  Certainly, I still make mistakes.  In fact, I make plenty of them.  But now I can often recognize the mistakes in my writing (especially work being slated for publication) while I'm working it up on the page:  faulty syntax, typos, word selection, sentences that lack clarity.

I'm still trying to improve.  I am still learning the craft.  In fact, every time I read writing that is truly astounding, I am humbled.  I am amazed.  And a part of me also feels dejected, as I realize that I am still a novice in the art.

Sadly, great writing . . . in fact, not even good writing . .  .is any longer a prerequisite to publication.  I read many badly-written books.  And much of the "published" material online these days is barely readable.

I hope to improve as a writer every time I sit down to write.  Every writer should!  And one of the best ways to improve is to revise.  To rewrite.  And to stay in practice (just like shooting free throws) by writing over and over again.

Keep the arrow pointing upward!  


No comments: