I want to be a better writer.
There. I said it.
Not a better blogger, a better writer.
So I introduced myself to Jeff Goins, and I went to his breakout session at Blissdom. Jeff is an incredibly talented writer, and I wanted to be able to tap into a tiny sliver of whatever it is that makes him amazing.
Because I’m not a great writer, I tell myself I’ll never be a great writer. It’s an art, and I don’t have it, right? Wrong. Jeff’s very first point was to define writing as a craft, not an art. And a craft is something you can practice, something you can get better at, something you can learn.
My heart fluttered with hope. Maybe yours did too?
We can be better if we want to be better. So now what?
Jeff recommends spending a significant amount of time reading things outside of your niche (no food memoirs for me) including classics and magazines like The New Yorker. I bought “The Great Gatsby” at the thrift store the other day, so I started in on it this week. (I read it in high school so it must be a classic, right?)
He also recommends writing. A lot. Not blogging, not tweeting, not Facebooking, actual writing. With a pen and paper. This will require more of a commitment. I know in my head that words pour out of me when I put pen to paper, but setting aside time to write is hard. (Anyone want to be my writing accountability buddy? We could tweet about how much we’re writing instead of tweeting. #writingnottweeting)
More advice from Jeff Goins:
-You never win the comparison game. Comparison kills creativity.
-Just because it happened doesn’t make it interesting.
-Find an honest friend who will give you honest feedback on your writing.
-Do the quiet work that matters. It’s hard to build your craft in front of an audience.
-Figure out the thing that you can’t not do, and prioritize your work around it.
-Stop trying to be known, do something that matters.
Wow, that’s a lot to work on. I compare myself to other writers way too often, and I’m sure I blog about uninteresting happenings.
But I’m willing to do the work to improve.
Do you write? Do you want to be a better writer? How do you work on your writing skills? Do you ever fall into the comparison trap?