Just Write: Only you stand in your way

I get amused when I see comments and posts of people saying “I am not that great of a writer.” Great writers aren’t just born, true some people might be more talented, but anyone can be a good writer. It takes practice, it really is that simple, to be good at anything. Lebron James didn’t up and decide to be a professional one day, he practiced and worked hard to get where he is. When everyone else went home to sleep, he probably stayed on the court another hour taking extra shots. If you read the life and biography of some of the great composers, artists, and athletes one thing you will always read is that it was their effort that made them successful.

If you have read one of my favorite books “Outliers” you have already learned there are some external factors that might keep a person from being “elite” at a venture or occupation. I think that there is a huge difference in being the best at something and being “good” at what you want to do. If you like to write there are ways to get better at writing which do not require monetary funds or schooling. If you were to read 10 of the current best-selling novels at the bookstore or library and really studied the syntax and unique sentence structure you can begin to define your own literary style. This is not to say you should copycat, but people will generally write in a reflection of how they speak. If your vocabulary isn’t really on par, guess where you can learn to expand it?

I write with a ton of imagery because I feel that if I read something I want that writer to show me what it is they are talking about. My mind is willing to work a little bit, but paint the picture for me so I can see what it is you’re talking about. One of my favorite authors, before he passed, was Robert Jordan. He was often criticized for being overly descriptive. People also claimed he was long winded when painting the picture of his characters. I would highly disagree with these people; Jordan’s unique writing skill in creating characters that the reader could actually visualize is a skill that should be sought after. Those that criticized him were probably the types that think a simple splash of information is acceptable, “the old woman was the very picture of an aged grandmother.” Thanks for the sentence, that didn’t tell me a damn thing!

I was told all through grade school that my writing was horrible. The issue wasn’t my figurative language, I had tons of that, but was instead the fact that my basic composition was lacking. This was due to being placed in “Advanced English” classes as a child. Some genius decided that advanced children probably already know basic grammar and composition, and should instead be putting their brilliant minds to imagery and advanced writing. While this equated to me being able to describe the dragons terrorizing the village… it did little for my basic writing confidence. I had a teacher actually say “you won’t ever be a good writer, pick something else.” That was only one example, a real confidence builder to be sure, but the point here is not that I had teachers bash my writing skill. The basic understanding that other people have nothing to do with your own personal drive for success is the real story here that people should try and take away.

An artist can have all the talent in their pinky, but if they don’t paint or perform their art it is for naught. I have countless journals that I have written my life in. I am not sure where they have gone to now, but they were my pride and joy away from the public eye. They were also my refuge and my place of practice. I wrote anything and everything in there, I wonder what the world would think of me if it was ever published. Once I learned what a blog was I decided that “to hell with what people thought” I would write publicly to hone my skill. That is what I am doing and it is what I enjoy about blogging. If you aren’t having fun, why do it?

Finally this blog is a product of effort. That is the plain and simple of it. People can claim “well your writing is so good that people are drawn to it!” I would argue that while I do have a lot of commenters and return visitors, that didn’t come about because my writing was the best there is on WordPress. Effort, I sifted enough sand to find those commenters you see here now. It was important to me not only to get views, but also to get comments and critiques of my work. My writing is thus a product of effort, continuously writing, and reflecting upon what people do and do not like about my work.

Just write, only you stand in your way of becoming a better writer.


This entry was posted in Creative Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to Just Write: Only you stand in your way

  1. savannah99 says:

    Thank you for this message, I recently told family members that I had decided to write a book, something I have been encouraged to do for quite a while now but, as soon as the announcement got out they all got scared! “Don’t Write about me” , Don’t talk about my mother, and don’t get your ass whipped” was the shocking responses I got. I decided that what ever happens I am going to write…Its who I am.

  2. Patti Walsh says:

    I recently went back to school (as a very, very late bloomer) and received high accolades from instructors for my writing. I am out of school now and just began blogging. It is my hope that I didn’t shoot my wad (so to speak) of ideas in college (ok, it was a trade school) and to come up with things to say. Your post is very encouraging and I will keep your words in mind.

  3. MTJames says:

    Your title for this piece daunted me, as I am indeed a wannabe writer, but my “want to” is rarely strong enough to produce a “do.” For me, writing is costly, as I am so invested in accurately communicating my thoughts and ideas that I figuratively sweat blood over individual words, or even commas. I seem to be a natural line-editor, catching punctuation and usage issues that most editors skate past while pursuing bigger editorial fish. That, however, makes my prose seem formal and stilted. I feel like a writer out of my time, better suited to the nineteenth century literary scene.

    I can only dream of achieving the natural flow of your writing, as alas, I am but a lowly editor.

  4. This was a pearl of wisdom if Iv’e ever read one 🙂

    Trumping what was spoken over you is a very courageous act!

    Your blog is fabulous!

  5. markjnorris says:

    this came at a good time. thanks for sharing. cheers.

  6. S&D,
    This post was an encouraging read for a want-to-be writer like myself! By the way, thank you for the follow on my blog. 🙂

Thank you for your comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s