This pretty much sums up the entire reason I am going back to school. I want to be a writer. And I bang out decent drafts. But in doing so, I realized that I lack the ability and knowledge that comes with education. I didn't have the discipline or awareness to stand back from my story and say, "That plot line doesn't work. That characterization is flat and this is why." I just get a vague nebulous feeling that something is wrong, and like a three-year old with a pair of scissors try to cut my own hair, and then wonder why it looks so butchered when I'm done hacking.
This is not to say I'm a bad writer. I've had enough raving English teachers to know I'm a talented writer. What I also am however, is an unskilled writer. I'm also an undisciplined writer. Instead of working all the time, either by jotting down bursts of inspiration, or descriptions of places, or just keeping track of interesting things that I can later use, I just wait until the mood strikes me once or twice a month, and I go bang out five thousand words of a story fragment.
That does not make a professional writer. So I'm putting in the learning time. I'm taking a course in fiction writing geared to teach me the ability to view my work dispassionately and remotely, as well as to pay attention to the various elements that make a good story.
I know, that I do not know. But I know I will learn. I know writing will become more difficult, because I will be more aware of what it should be and the gap between the end and its current state. I will be more unhappy with bad scenes, and excess words. But hopefully, it will make me a better writer.
Ten Years A Citizen: Ten Learnings
2 weeks ago