You must write (a lot) to be a good writer

On Wednesday, I wrote that you must be a reader to be a good writer. Again, this isn’t true for everybody, but it is solid advice that I believe in and will continue to share.

In response to the post, writer Erin Jensen shared the following wise words about the need to write (a lot):

The notion is that it should be obvious that to write well, you must write, but because it’s considered so apparent a point, it’s hardly mentioned and, therefore, has become undervalued. This isn’t to belittle the importance of reading, but I think the two should go hand-in-hand.

And she’s right. To be a good writer, you have got to put the time into it. Perhaps not 1,000,000 words as an old axiom would lead you to believe, but enough to where it becomes second nature to you. Again, this isn’t true for everybody, but it is solid advice.

I’ve seen some advice givers say that any writing counts. I’m not in agreement with that. If you wish to be a good short fiction writer, you need to write lots of short fiction. If you wish to be good at writing creative nonfiction, then you have to write lots of creative nonfiction.

So…this week I’ve covered two easy (and obvious) ways to be a better writer. I’ve got several more in mind. If I can find the time, I share them next week.

Obviously, the BEST way to improve your writing is to take one of my workshops! 😛

2 responses to “You must write (a lot) to be a good writer”

  1. kamagrowski Avatar

    I would clarify that any writing does help your writing in the sense that if I write blog posts and essays, in addition to short fiction, the non fiction that I’m writing may help me improve my fiction writing in the sense that I have to order my thoughts, provide clear and logical reasoning, and maybe even help me with my vocabulary, as well as stretch my limits.

    1. Jason Sizemore Avatar

      Lots of truth in what you’re saying. I do think you have to write fiction to get a grip on stuff like plot, theme, word choice, and rhythm.

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