Writing is a craft and an art. Today’s post is about craft.
Becoming a proficient writer requires perseverance, repetition, and trial and error that is unique to each writer. Yes, all writers must learn the basics of how to put a sentence together. But what separates those who can write a letter from those who can spin a story that makes you eagerly turn the page to learn more?
Some say it is the desire. That will get you part of the way, but if you want to write for an audience (whether you publish or not) and have your storytelling stand up against the books being sold today, then it’s going to require dedication and sacrifice:
- Dedication to sitting down and writing. To observing the world and opening yourself up to ideas.
- Sacrifice on the part of yourself and your family.
Writing is a solitary act. It requires time. And in our busy lives, time is at a premium. Which means anyone who wants to write has to decide what they’re willing to sacrifice in order to meet this creative need. I gave up television and long evenings with the husband (who is the most supporting spouse ever). So, after a day of working my day job, I come home, fix and eat dinner with the husband, spend some quality time, and then head to my home office to spend 2-3 hours writing.
So where does craft come in?
Once upon a time, a child would be apprenticed to a blacksmith or hunter or priest to learn a trade. Over time, this person would practice the skills they learned until they became experts at it themselves.
We don’t do this for writing. Yes, there are college courses, and degrees and creative writing, but many writers will never take a single class, yet have a burning need to write. There are scores of books (I have a large number on my shelves), but they are only one perspective of the craft of writing.
To only sure way to learn to write is by doing it over and over and over again.
I can’t tell you how to do it, or how much repetition is enough. The practice of writing is unique to each person. And that’s where craft comes in:
Sit your butt in the seat.
Write some more.
Hone your storytelling skills.
That’s how you learn the craft. Others can guide you, but in the end, the act of writing is a solitary one.
It’s up to you. And it is so worth it.