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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Getting Better At It

If you write every day and use some form of deliberative practice, in which you think consciously about what you are doing, then you ought to be getting better at it. Writing well should get both faster and easier.

I say this because there is a common view that writing never gets easier, that true improvement is not possible, or that the first draft will always be crappy even for a good writer. This has not been my experience. I find that my first drafts are better than they used to be, and that my finished writing is more eloquent than it used to be. I still rewrite, but now I am going from good to better rather than from shitty to mediocre.

If the conventional view were correct, then writing would be unlike any other human activity, in which deliberate and intelligent practice leads gradually to improvement.

2 comments:

Clarissa said...

It absolutely does get easier. Especially, if you write on a regular basis.

Thomas said...

"If the conventional view were correct, then writing would be unlike any other human activity, in which deliberate and intelligent practice leads gradually to improvement."

I've found that exactly this point is what wins people over to my (i.e., our) approach and gets them to abandon the (surprisingly) conventional one. (Why would anyone think writing is different?)