What it Takes to Be a Writer: A Memoir

2 min


What it Takes to Be a Writer

“You can make anything by writing,” said C. S. Lewis. Sounds wonderful and inspiring for a person aspiring to be a writer or someone who wants to document the overflowing thoughts. Now writing will make anything, but what makes a writer and the writing process?

Most beginner stage writers are good at writing. They hit incredible word count per day that word count of some established writers will almost seem insignificant if we make a comparison. Yet they fail to bring an outcome with fewest errors, that connects all three pieces of writing into one: The start— the middle—the end. Connecting all three parts into one will seem as easy as it sounds. But only a deep dive into the process will show you how herculean writing will be. That moment will arrive when you step out of your comfort zone clouded by mistakes and errors you ignore and work to improve your writing. The only way to do that is through writing and reading and rewriting.

Everyone writes but not reading is a novice mistake every beginner makes; I can tell that from my experience. Irrespective of what you write: prose or poetry, reading will always help you keep a track of your errors. While reading tracks your errors, rewriting will help you eliminate them; Not all at a time but many at least. However, you may continue making some errors out of habit, but time being you will develop a new one of not repeating them.

Everyone continues to read and write, but reading novels and non-fiction, and imitate other authors’ style is another novice mistake. No matter how hard you try to copy a style that isn’t inherently yours you will struggle to keep up the quality of your writing. You will barely reproduce the style in your work. Instead, read reference books that will help you correct your mistakes unaltering your natural way of writing. Now that doesn’t mean you stop reading novels and so on, read them but don’t copy someone else’s style. As Dorothy Parker once said, “if you have any young friends who aspire to become writers, the second greatest favour you can do them is to present them with copies of The Elements of Style. The first greatest, of course, is to shoot them now, while they’re happy.” The Elements of Style is one of the few books that will help you improve writing with zero redundancy. Flawless I call it; the book is one of my favourites. On Writing, Bird by Bird, Zen in the Art of Writing, and Word Power Made Easy are a few likewise books.

Everyone now reads reference books, writes, rewrites, but not accepting criticism is also a novice mistake. Don’t mistake criticism for judgment. Those who judge your writing will point out your mistakes, but those who criticise you will tell you where you could improve. So never retort when someone better experienced in writing criticises your writing. Take it positively and work your way back to improve yourself.

Audio Book

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