Posted by jrmurdock
Read the quote again.
One more time.
I never intended to do this blog as writing advice, but I’m going to pontificate for a bit today, if you’ll indulge me.
Back in 10th grade…oh so many years ago, I took a creative writing class. I’d written some stories before and tried drawing cartoon. All were awful. This was the first time where I had a teacher explaining things like structure, pacing, and the like. I learned about poetry and haiku as well as different styles of writing.
The teacher introduced me to things beyond what I had thought about when it came to creating stories.
Learning about writing was a great thing and I applied what I learned in the stories I wrote during her class. It was a great class (watch the video for more about the class).
Over the years, I’ve learned a lot of great things about writing and I picked up many hard to forget myths about writing as well.
This is all I’ll say. I don’t subscribe to the million words of crap theory any longer.
Yes, I’ve written about this in the past. I no longer believe that EVERYONE must write a million words before they’ll write something worthwhile.
I think back to that creative writing class. everything I wrote in that class got a “A” from the teacher. She didn’t know me. Didn’t know my background. All she knew was my passion for creating what I thought was a good story. She loved the stories I wrote. So I kept writing stories.
I lost my way many times along my writing journey, but I always wanted to be a writer. An author. To have people read my stories and enjoy them. To that end, I’ve succeeded. Many people have read and enjoyed my work. Many I don’t know.
Not all the words I’ve written are crap even though, over the years, I’ve written somewhere between 2,000,000 and 3,000,000 words, of those not everything it published. Many of those words will never see the light of day. They were practice words.
That doesn’t mean I’ve trunked everything from those early days of writing. As I said, I don’t think all of it is crap. Some of those stories I learned a lot from and some are decent stories. I’m sure not everything I will write in the future will be a great story, but I will learn from everything I write.
Why am I saying all this?
Because I know with every word I write, I will get better at my craft. I’ve said many times over the years, it’s impossible to get worse at art if you practice with regularity.
To that end, not everyone will be at the same path on their journey. Some will take longer to produce a quality story than it’ll take someone else. One person will write significantly faster than another person. Everyone is different. What will make a person a better writer is persistence, patience, and practice.
That’s my goal, to keep plugging away and putting out books and improving my craft. Not everything I write will be a story everyone will want to read, but that will be more a matter of taste and opinion. Not so much that the story is lacking in quality.
What I’m saying is simple: don’t try to be Stephen King with your first book. Have patience with yourself and know it’ll take time to learn the craft of writing (or any art for that matter). Practice your craft regularly. Be persistent in completing and producing work. You’ll get better at your own speed and in your own time.
Until Next Time!