I see so many books, articles, blog posts, tweets, you name it, all geared towards helping us be better writers. When I first started writing, I read everything in this department that I could. I thought, justifiably, that there are a lot of other people in the world who have been writing longer than I have and must have some useful information for me that will help me grow.
Sometimes that’s true. But it’s more common that it’s complete garbage–an advertisement for writing more than anything of substance. And as time went on, and I began to skim these things rather than read them, I came to realize that many of these people are not writers. They are hobbyists or people who want to be writers. Not the same thing.
Now, to be clear, there is nothing wrong with that. But as someone who takes writing seriously, who knows that writing is more than something I do–but rather, it is me, and integral part of who I am and what I am here for–I have learned that for me personally, I read excellent works by writers I admire. And I write. And that’s it.
A lot of people like to talk at length about writing. In the end, talking about writing doesn’t get you anywhere.
There is no substitution for learning the craft by practicing it. Period.