Helen (heleninwales) wrote,

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Effortful study

matociquala posted a link to a most interesting article here. holyoutlaw seems to have hit the nail on the head. Just practising, without actually reflecting on what you're doing and without pushing yourself to try something just a bit more difficult is not going to lead to improvement. All you'll end up with is a heap of stuff all of the same quality.

There's a saying often bandied about which goes: "you have to write a million words of crap". This is assumed to be a sort of apprenticeship, after which you'll just naturally start writing good stuff. But I've always been a bit wary of it. Firstly some people just don't seem to need to write a whole load of bad stuff before they start producing excellent stories. Admittedly they tend to be the people who came to writing later in life and must somehow have internalised the necessary skills in other ways. But also some people just seem stuck on one level and however many words they write, the quality just doesn't seem to improve. All they end up doing is embarking on their second million words of crap.
Tags: writing, writing reflection

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