How to Improve Your Writing
Author Natalie Goldberg’s advice on how to improve your writing (or anything really). This excerpt is taken from her book, Writing Down the Bones.
In order to improve your writing, you have to practice just like any other sport. But don’t be dutiful and make it into a blind routine. “Yes, I have written an hour today and I wrote an hour yesterday and an hour the day before.” Don’t just put in your time. That is not enough. You have to make great effort. Be willing to put your whole life on the line when you sit down for writing practice. Otherwise you are just mechanically pushing the pen across the page and intermittently looking at the clock to see if your time is up.Some people hear the rule “Write every day” and do it and don’t improve. They are just being dutiful. That is the way of the Goody Two-shoes. It is a waste of energy because it takes tremendous effort to just follow the rules if your heart isn’t into it. If you find that this is your basic attitude, then stop writing. Stay away from it for a week or a year. Wait until you are hungry to say something, until there is an aching in you to speak. Then come back.