With the beginning of a new year, many people begin new resolutions or re-evaluate their life styles and habits. When there is spring cleaning, many dust away the cobwebs, disinfect and kill all the nasty germs, and sweep away all the pesky dirt particles from those dark and out of reach areas.
As a writer, there are those times when you have to ‘spring clean’ or re-evaluate your WIP, writing career, writing habits, and writing skills and so on. Recently, I have been going through one of those annoying but much needed cleaning stages with my own writing. It may not be a glamorous and fun celebration for a writer but it definitely can be an eye-opening experience for one.
As I go through an older manuscript which I laid aside for a while, I become painfully aware of my short comings and flaws as I read it. The scenes which I originally thought were well crafted fall short of piquing my interests this time around. Then there is the dialogue between the hero and heroine which makes my eyes roll with disgust and disappointment. I think to myself, “What the hell?”
Yet, as much as I may cringe at previous writing projects, there are those I absolutely love and wouldn’t change a bit. It’s a reminder to me that there’s going to be ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly’ but regardless I take my weaknesses and improve upon them. I learn from my successes as well.
It’s imperative that writers continue to improve their writing skills and enhance their careers. By reading and studying books on the craft, attending workshops and conferences, obtaining a critique partner(s), and observing and ‘bending the ears’ of their peers, both unpublished or published authors can benefit from all of these methods for re-evaluating their WIPs and such.
|Ernest Hemingway hard at work.|
Yet, it’s equally important for a writer not to beat his/herself up when there is an area of improvement needed. One must remember to surround his/herself with other like minded and positive people and continue to pick up the pieces of his/her not so ‘perfect’ writing path and press forward.
Like I mentioned before, spring cleaning or re-evaluation may not be the most exciting part of a writing career but it’s definitely the most needed in order to gain more in the long run.
What cleaning methods have been most beneficial for you?