I think that no matter what you do, if you do it a lot and consistently, you get better at it. I read some of my earlier stuff and some of it makes me cringe. Seriously. Cringe. Worthy. I can’t really even reread my stuff because I’m all like holy shit… what was I thinking? Obviously not a lot ’cause I put these words to a page. It’s not that it’s total crap. My early stories just aren’t as good as what I am writing today. I mean an editor/publisher decided they wanted some of those stories. So it’s not just my opinion that they’re not total shit, but worthy of being put out there. But…but… but… I can do so much better now.
I don’t think trying to measure my work then to my work now is really fair to myself. But what-the-hell-ever. It’s not about fairness. It’s about evaluating my evolution as a writer.
Am I glad I write better now? You bet. Otherwise, I’d be a stagnate tadpole all swimming in the same pond, using the same tricks, and writing at the same level.
And as much as I hate editing, I have to say having outside of just plain writing more–all the time, every day– editors have done me a world of frickin’ good. Evaluating my writing myself and having my writing be evaluated by others is a necessary part of growing as a fiction author. As a writer period. It has been too long since I’ve had another person redline my work, call me on my bullshit, and generally tell me when I am being a douche with the written word. It’s painful- sure. But NECESSARY. So.
You know, I haven’t been writing for very long. Well, fiction writing as a job, anyway. And it’s been steep learning curve from writing dry technical pieces to engaging fiction works. It’s not a switch I can flip quick. I don’t think it’s a switch anyone can toggle rapidly. It’s been a slow process. But I’m getting there.
A big part of my evolution in becoming, hopefully, a better writer has been attending conferences and workshops and stuff (and that’s in addition to having someone edit my pieces with a dark red pen). I can’t tell you how learning from those who have been there and done that has helped. Immeasurably. Seriously. So to all those who have taken the time to teach, to give… Thank You! I hope one day I’m in a position to return that favor. Until then though, I will keep plugging away at getting better. Making more compelling stories.
It is my fervent wish that those of you who read what I’ve written today, keep reading what I write later. Cause I am only getting better. With time. With age. With experience. It’s only been a year–almost a year exactly–since I started writing fiction for realz, yo. I can’t wait to see where I’m at when another year goes by. I hope you can’t either.