Lessons From Two Years of Hard Knocks
One of the hardest things...
to accept about one's self is that they are not perfect. If you write long enough, however, this is one fact that you cannot escape. It is in my humble opinion one of the grandest things about writing on the whole. I find myself coming to this conclusion two years into my exploration of this craft. I am thinking of taking writing seriously. For those who haven't gotten to this point, there is a lot to consider when you start. Hopefully you have the understanding to consider some if not all of these points in your first year.
People who dig into the past of my articles will find many strongly worded articles and commentary. There have been times when I have let commentators get under my skin and I lashed out. Perhaps I should have thanked them. It is a bit late at this point. It isn't, however, too late to share some of the things I have learned along the way.
Just because you feel it doesn't mean you have the right way to say it. There is nothing so important that it cant be written in an informative and inoffensive manner. Writers are cynical by nature but staying pleasant while questioning things is a real balancing act. The more you learn and read the less tolerate you will be of the ignorant. tolerate it anyhow. There isn't an idiot who is worth you losing your readership over.
Once you write it, there isn't much point in retracting it. So for heaven sake. Do it right the first time. Maybe I could count on people forgetting if they cant research it. Who knows. When I first started I wrote articles that I was passionate about but I cant count many that didn't reek of self righteousness. The few that weren't on my pet subjects, involving theology, were dry discussions on current events. Even if you feel strongly about a subject, don't publish it right away. keep it unpublished until you are happy with your work.
I have a lot of poetry to my name. I am a poet by habit and study. I am also a writer. Keeping these two separate however was harder then I thought. Poetry came easy. Writing what is easy won't help you achieve the place in writing that will make you remembered. Heck I am not sure you can even make serious money that way. There seems to be an equation between the amount of torture you put yourself through and the amount of money you make at this game.
Spelling and grammar count. It is hard enough to wade through another's mind on paper or screen without also having to translate. No one has to read your work. Don't make it any harder then it has to be. There are a lot of things to read here that are well worth the time.
Write about what you know or get to know a lot about what you want to write about. As it has been pointed out by other writers. People are being busted for plagiarism left and right. Inaccuracies are easily spotted. Between Fox and CNN no one is getting away with much of a nefarious nature these days. Point being, writers are having to keep to a high standard of accountability.
I am grateful to all of those who have stuck around and keep reading my work after all of the mistakes and ways I have scraped my knees. A lesser man might claim disability. Maybe that had something to do with it. I am, however not one to let such matters stick me in one place or phase of development any longer then need be. I am grateful for all those who have commented on my work. For good or evil, and even when it irritated me, my work always came out better when I followed this rule of thumb. It has made me the writer I am now.
So, if you haven't figured it out, I wasn't perfect and I probably will make a few more mistakes before I hang up my pen. I also may need to go back and do a lot of editing of my old pieces. If I notice that someone has looked at a piece that hasn't received any hits in a while I will look at it and see if I still am ok with it being published. With as many hubs as I have I am kind of forced to. I am also looking into the Apprenticeship Program. From the reading I have been doing it would be well worth a new Hubber's interest to look into it. My time isn't uncommitted enough yet to pull that off but I am working on it.
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