Today on her reading and writing blog, Kelly Hashway shared her thoughts about good not being enough in her own writing: http://www.kellyhashway.com/apps/blog/show/6558076-good-is-not-enough
I totally identified.
As I told Kelly, I’m always trying to improve my writing too, and I listed a few of the things that I routinely do to get there:
- Reading great books (that “This!” moment when you see what an author has done so well). Recent a-ha moments have come from these amazing books:
- Plain Kate by Erin Bow – poetic beauty in the sparsest of language
- Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur – amazingly authentic voice
- Matched by Ally Condie – a masterpiece of conflict and tension
- Getting feedback on my work (critique partners, beta readers etc.). Everything from “I don’t think you’re starting this manuscript in the right place” to “You know, you use this word way too much.”
- Attending conferences/retreats and reading craft books (learning from great authors/editors about how to succeed). Separate post on my favorite conferences/retreats to come!
Then I realized that this whole thing reminded me of Samuel Beckett’s words: “Fail again. Fail better.”
It’s the writing of course. My writing. The time, the effort, the work. The only way to get better is to continue to do it.