Wednesday, March 30, 2011

2 Things to Help Writing Growing Pains

The more I learn,
the more I learn
I have more to learn.

There's more to that sentence than what meets the eye. Think about it a moment. Digest the meaning. 

Isn't it true that the more we learn, the more we know we need to learn?

Wouldn't it be fantastic to recognize a writing problem, grasp the concept and apply it all at once?

Unfortunately, we need to consciously understand a writing problem to learn. Once we do, we move forward applying what we've learned to what we write. Now we can discover another problem and the cycle starts all over again.

Here's the deal . . . a writer will always have writing problems. And that's not a bad thing. It's actually very good because it means we're growing.

So what can we do to help us through these growing pains? Two things: become aware of our short-comings and write all we can.

Becoming aware of our shortcomings can be very painful. We all have little glitches in our writing, rules that don't stick or we can't seem to grasp. But the more we're aware that we have a problem, the more we will avoid them. I'll be brave and use one of my many writing flaws as an example. I have had a problem using "that" when I should use "who." I know the concept. Use "who" when referring to people. Use "that" when referring to anything else. But it has taken me years and a concerted effort to overcome this problem in my own writing. I'm aware, now I need to apply what I've learned. I can only do that (notice in this case "that" refers to learning and not a person) by writing.

Write all we can because if we quit writing the flaws that haunt us will stop us from progressing. AND we want to progress. The only way we can is to write and write a lot. Go over and over the concept and rule that is hampering us. Learn it so we automatically write the proper way. Writing allows us to learn by practicing our craft.  

"A writer develops the habit of writing to develop the habit of learning about writing." (Leonard Bishop)

How do you remember a writing concept and apply it to your writing? Has it taken a long time for you to apply what you've learned without thinking about it? And, do you know a shortcut? (I had to ask.)


  1. Great post Kathi! I'm a little sad to know that there will always be problems, but I'm glad I will always be learning. =)

  2. Carolyn,
    I understand. It's sort of depressing to think we can never learn all there is to know about writing, but on the other hand, how boring would it be to know everything? We might give up all together. And that wouldn't be a good. I want to read your novel. =D

  3. One of the things I love about writing is that there is always something new to learn. Of course, it would be nicer to be published and still learning.

  4. So much truth in this post. The more I learn, the more I wonder what else I don't know. I love the challenge.

  5. Andrea,
    You'll get there. Just keep plugging away, sure and steady and you'll get published. =D

  6. Carol,
    You're so right to use the word challenge. It is a challenge to write and learn, but we're doing it! Yeah for us!!!

  7. I have a problem with -well. Well, it used to be a problem. Now I tell myself if I put the word in, I will fall down the -well. It works for me. LOL

    My brain is absorbing so many things, it hurts. I am enjoying it though, and that is the important thing.

  8. Glynis,
    I'm quite fond of "well" as well. Thanks for the tip! ;)



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