This past week, I decided to read my second draft of The Water Weaver and after doing so, I almost wanted to cry. After two years and a rewrite from absolute scratch, it still wasn’t good enough. I wonder whether I will ever be able to love my writing, but I hope that it will one day be good enough for me to put to rest.
What happens between each draft is that my writing improves. It’s a good thing, even though it means an endless cycle of rewrites from page one.
So, how have I been improving as a writer?
Of course, through writing and through reading book/articles on craft. But while both are important, I think the most important one often gets overlooked. We need to read – a lot. And I don’t mean wattpad books or self published Amazon books. We need to be reading that top, fully edited and polished quality so that we can learn from them.
I remember reading “Wintersong” towards the end of my second draft of The Water Weaver and I loved the lush writing style. I know it made the world of a difference to my writing, and my readers pointed out the improvement in the last few chapters. Recently, I read “Uprooted” and I loved how the writing flowed. So, I started rewriting my story and tried to write it in the same way Uprooted was written, and I love the result. A few thousand words in, I grew comfortable enough with this new writing style to make it part of my fingerprint as an author.
I’ve heard other authors say this, but I wanted to talk about how reading analytically has helped me. It really works! Even on a subconscious level, reading widely helps but I think figuring out what you specifically loved is when the magic happens. And that’s how we learn. Like Stephen King said, if you don’t have time to read then you don’t have time to write either.
Honestly, I feel I haven’t read enough in 2017, so my new year’s resolution is going to read a book a week – in between my rewrites. Actually, full rewrites have also been a massive help in improving, because it’s made me figure out what I don’t like, and find a way to fix those problem areas.
Oh, and I also found a super interesting article over here that I really want to share:
It’s about J.K. Rowling’s writing journey as she wrote the seven Harry Potter books. Of course it was through many rewrites and plenty of tears, and reading that article made me feel much more determined to rewrite this story until I’m finally happy (enough) with it. I hope that you also find inspiration and motivation through that article too 🙂