We've all written a piece, spent time with it and edited it and picked away at it just to have it be said, "yeah, this isn't bad but, well, it needs a lot of work." And in those times it can be painful as writing is a personal thing and every time we ask ourselves, "how do I do better?"
Well, half of the process is, of course, continuing to write. If we do not write and continue to try new things then we will never get any better as writers, but will stagnant instead. However, to just write endlessly is not enough.
If we as writers really want to become better then we must begin the process of reading. This is likely either strange or obvious knowledge. After all, what kind of writer is not a reader as well? Yet still, it is not enough to just read.
Allow me to explain. As I've stated before, when we want to write it is important we start off as readers. Part of this is so that we can understand the structure of a story. After all, without reading we can not see how writers work and how the manage to tell you everything you need to know yet, at the same time, leave you with enough rope to hang yourself with questions and analysis.
It is this second part where we begin to develop a critical opinion. To use a different example, for those that want to direct a film they must, themselves, be lovers of film. After all, without a love of film then the act of directing would be laborious, one that was more akin to working a job than to creating art. Further, without a knowledge of film one will not be able to understand how a film is made. After all, much like a writer, a director does not include every aspect of the character or the world they inhabit but only what is important so that the reader, or the viewer, may gain some understanding of what the author or director is trying to convey.
It is through this critical voice and this ability to analyze a text that we begin to understand how to write and create. Therefore, it is import for us as creators to absorb everything that we can, good and bad, and learn to filter that so that we may create ourselves. If we do not do this then we will create nothing.
Now, for those that want to start on this you can check out (and buy) books from my suggested reading here: http://thesmokingpenandpad.blogspot.com/2015/04/suggestions-in-science-fiction-and.html
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