Three things that have made me a better writer..
1. Honestly, and not just in an attempt to tie in to last weeks discussion: obsessing over writers I love. Picking them apart and analysing the text. Jenna’s right when she says analysis is supposed to influence and encourage us. It does, and who better to find encouragement in that the stories I can’t live without! Analysing them, specifically is a way to focus in on what is so attractive to me about certain authors. It also helps me realize when my own style is being over-run by a new favorite, so I can step back and re-evaluate.
2. Blogging. I know I don’t edit nearly enough here, and that my spelling is embarrassing, but I really do think that blogging itself, as well as the community I’ve discovered here has improved my writing, and encouraged me to keep at it. It’s like having constant, but not at all overwhelming pressure to perform, just a little bit; to reflect just a little bit more than usual, and also to open my writing up a bit more for criticism..which is something I’ve always had trouble doing.
3. Living Intensely. Life itself, with all it’s joys and sorrows, really is the best teacher. Nothing forces me to write honestly and passionately more than deep pain or overwhelming happiness, and each day I live I learn anew how many experiences are beyond my understanding. This opportunity, to learn and suffer and grow as a person as well as a writer is the best formation we have, and I’m grateful as I learn to take my life and form it into many tiny pieces of beauty.
What about you? They don’t have to be different, we can agree. Or maybe there is something else entirely for you?