Monday, August 20, 2012

Writing—A Progression of Skill
I queried an editor this summer about a self-help book I wrote several years ago. It’s a manuscript filled with positive thinking skills and techniques to reduce anxiety and depression.
When the editor asked to see the first 35 pages, I had no problem getting them ready. But when he asked to see the entire 300 pages manuscript, I had a big editing task in front of me.
I’ve written a lot in the past five years, and I wasn’t aware that my skills had improved until I went back through the manuscript and found sentences and paragraphs full of ‘was’ and ‘that’ and ‘of’. Many of my verbs were weak, and I repeated myself over and over again.
I have struggled the past few weeks to get the manuscript up to speed. I’m sure it could be better, but it’s much improved. Even though it’s been a lot of work, I’ve enjoyed using the expertise I’ve gained through my reading, from my fellow writers in my critique group, and the conferences I have attended.
This process has helped me put things in perspective. My skill level is getting better, and I can communicate my thoughts and feelings through the written word with more ability than I could before.
I’m grateful for the opportunity of seeing into the window of my past.
Do the same experiment yourself. Look at some of the pieces you wrote a few years ago. Has your writing level improved? What’s changed for you?
“God gives us skill. But He could not make Antonio Stradivaris violins with Antonio.” George Elliott
Christy Monson

No comments: