How Often Do You Study and Practice the Craft of Writing?
How often do you study and practice the craft of writing? If you are unhappy with your writing skills, and you would like to improve them, it's time to get serious.
Writing does not always come naturally. It takes years of practice and study, and even then, you still don't become an expert at writing. Achieving perfection in writing, however, is a myth. There is always a way to improve your writing… always a better way to say something. The idea of perfection in writing is really subjective.
People have their own opinions on what good writing is. There is no set standard on what makes a great sentence or a story. It's all about preference. Some people think great writing is 19th century formal and other people think great writing is conversational and informal. It's a matter of opinion.
I once met an older man at a networking event who was disgusted by how writers these days have strayed away from 19th century language. This was after I told him I was a writer. I wasn't nearly as opinionated and bold then as I am now, so I didn't give him a piece of my mind. But I think it's safe to assume that he didn't write in his clients' language, and he likely would not have understood why he needed to.
I read that swimmers on high school swim teams practice for two hours a day. It helps them build strength and endurance. Anything that you desire to do well requires time and practice. We can't expect to improve our writing without putting in daily deposits of practice, even if they are just 15-minute sessions.
Consistency is so important when it comes to improving our skills. Just try exercising once or twice a week and see how well your endurance improves (and how well the fat comes off!). It takes more frequent exercise to see improvements in endurance, strength, and tone. The same goes for writing.
So, how often do you study and practice the craft of writing?
I have found that it works best to set aside a certain amount of time to study and practice. That includes reading books on the craft of writing.
This time needs to be limited. I could read writing reference books all day long, but eventually I would get burned out and push them aside. When you set a time limit, maybe 15 or 30 minutes, you're making yourself move on to something else so you don't get burned out. Too much of one thing, especially when you feel you need to get other things done, can be a bad thing for your writing.
Set a time limit and plug the session into your schedule. Do it at that time every day and eventually it will become second nature to you.