So You Want To Be a Good Writer

writer1That is your goal, your dream, your heart’s desire. Each word you bring out of your mind and body is a work-of-art. You have slaved over it and a piece of your soul is in this bit of writing.

 Yeah, okay, that was fine in Charles Dickens’ time. You also starved in a garrett and only got discovered when you were dead. Not so thrilling. Unfortunately, you can still starve for your art in today’s age. And all because of one thing in your belief about yourself. In other words – EGO. Good writers do NOT bow to ego.

 Ego is great, in its place. It can force you to write better and quicker. All you need is a prod occasionally, when you know damn well you are slacking off. And this is when you need to put the egotistical side of you aside, and look at your work without any thoughts whatever. We may not have the time to put our work aside for a day or so, but it certainly is a powerful aide.

 When you do this, the work becomes more remote. And your ego gets hopefully put in its rightful place. This is why I always advise writers who have been given a task to begin immediately. If you have 24 hours to submit it, get it written as soon as you can. Then, even if you only leave it for an hour or so before rereading, editing and sending it, you will see flaws that didn’t appear in the heat of the moment.

 Good writers put their ego firmly aside. What you have written is not the next wonder-of-the-world, although you may think so at that moment in time. Not so long ago, editors took to articles, manuscripts and book-galleys with a red pen. Not that they wanted to do that. Who wants to spend all day seeing red lines in front of your eyes? But it was not a criticism of the WRITER. It was to help the work be better.


Ego moves in then. You sweated blood and tears to get that article right, and that damned editor took their temper out on you. Not fair at all! And not the truth either. They did NOT do this out of spite. Get this fact through your head. If they want you to rewrite and take notice of what they have said, then do it, no matter what your ego says. That editor is only trying to help you get paid.ego1

 Admittedly, you will encounter some editors who are harder than others are. But you will meet that in any profession even ditch digging. Control your ego. Take an hour or so, after you have received the criticism or suggestions, then read them slowly through again. Keep in mind it is for your own benefit. Only then, if you still must, fire off an email to that particular editor. BUT DO NOT SEND IT. You will be amazed at how much sense that criticism or suggestions they have given you make then!

Contributed by: Cheryl Taylorwriter4



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