Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Writers Need Practice


Remember the old Chatty Cathy doll that talked? Little girls were overjoyed with her but the doll repeated the same thing over and over. At the risk of being compared to Chatty Cathy, I am going to repeat something I've referred to many times. 

Writing is no different than athletics as it takes a great deal of practice to reach the pro league. A basketball player or one who runs down a football field didn't start out great. Star status comes after hours and hours and hours--maybe years-- of practice, learning techniques and more. 

Becoming a star in the writing world is much the same. We need to work at learning and polishing our skill. A great number of writers dream of writing a bestselling book. Nothing wrong with a dream like that. It's the kind of thinking that spurs us on. But it's not very realistic to think we're going to write a bestselling novel the first time we try. 

As our quote today tells us, we need both some talent and acquired skills. We must also learn from our mistakes. Oh my, oh my--that is the star sentence of today's post. That's why I'm printing it in bold. 

Consider that the first novel you write is a good practice round. You'll learn a lot from the experience. It may be something you never try to market. Instead, it could end up in a drawer, never to be seen again. Or, you could take it out now and then, read it and ask yourself what went right and what went wrong in this initial effort. Learn from it.

Practice novel writing by trying the short story first. I think writing a novel for your first writing experience is like diving into the deep end of the pool before you learn to swim. Write short little vignettes for practice. Write character sketches. You might happen upon a character that can be included in a longer piece later. Try various writing exercises--google to find them if necessary.

It's all these short bits of writing that will help develop your natural talent and hone your knowledge of the craft of writing. We all want to start out writing the one thing that will make us a household name. No one knew who Michael Jordan was the first time he made a basket on a playground. Nobody recognized a kid named Brett Favre when he picked up that first football to toss down a field. They both had natural talent but they worked hard to turn it into star stuff. You can, too. Take your time,

No comments:

Post a Comment