Some Thoughts From An Experience Writer

As an expert academic writer, university writing instructor, and professional editor--the first thing you need to know is that writing is a process not a product.

Learning how to write even reasonably well takes time, dedication, attention to detail, and an ability to understand both the 'mechanics' of good writing (the 'how') and the many ways one idea can be expressed.

No one, no matter how good a writer, can teach you to write well; you must be your own teacher. Taking a writing class doesn’t hurt, but there is no substitute for practice, practice, practice.

What does it take to be a 'good' writer? First, there is a difference between technically perfect writing and that which exceeds technically perfect to be 'well done'.

Think about your favourite writers. These people know how to write not only perfectly but know how to make their writings reflect how they think or feel. That's why we call an artist an artist; you can see into their minds by experiencing their art.

For me it took about 15 years of practice to get really good at writing, but this journey is different for everyone and it depends on your goals. My goal is to be the absolute best writer I can be, and now I have gotten to the point where I improve a little bit almost every time I write.

For me, writing has become a process through which I will connect everything I know with everything else I know. You won’t know what this means until you get there.

As I write more, I learn not only different vocabularies I can use to express an idea more clearly, but also ways to violate long standing rules of writing to be more artistic, and new word orders and grammars to reflect 'me'. I am not talking about just doing it any way I feel, I am saying that once you practice writing enough you can become a judge of modes of expression that not only reflect who you are, but also are clear and interesting to the reader.

If you know how to do something--anything--really well, then you know what I mean above. Passed a certain point of practice, you begin to 'play', and that's when things get interesting.

That's where I am presently, but the more I learn about writing the more I see just how much I don't know--and that's what makes it perfect.

Southpaugh Southpaugh
May 23, 2012