Writing better is the goal, it’s the easiest goal to talk about and do nothing about. So writing better should really be completing–doing–getting it finished.
In the can.
Done and Dusted.
Making the deadline.
So here are the few sympathetic words for writing better.
1.) Writing is hard, I know. Writing better is harder. It’s like going into the dark. You need a path into the night, choose your light wisely.
2.) Read like a writer= ask questions of the writer and throw them down. “What is this summary doing?” “Why does the story end with the store closing…”
Then answer them for yourself. Then get the courage to contact them and ask them if you’re right.
3.) Writing better and ‘just writing‘ are different. Wu-tang clan and Miles Davis different. The first, you deliberately sharpen tools. The other, you deliberately spill your guts.
The first helps the second.
4.) You need a system. Yes a system. No, not something blind and blunt like a rule.
A rule: I will write 1,000 words a day. / I will write for two hours a day.
A system: First draft = mayhem on the page I’m cool with. A reckless 1,000 words a day abandoned one after the other.
Second draft= Making it legible.
Third= focus on the main character/ theme. What is most important in this work?
Any system will work, as long as it’s your system, a system that you experiment with. What works? What doesn’t?
Don’t only write/revise blindly. It will be impossible to know when you’re finished.
5. Deadlines work. Everyone needs deadlines. The only people who don’t deadlines are those saints who already understand that there is no perfect. And they can feel when it’s not or is going somewhere.