I'm sure you've heard Oscar Wilde's famous quote that starts, "Everything in moderation…." It's everywhere at this time of year, encouraging us to moderate our participation in everything from eating to exercise, but I'm sure Mr. Wilde would agree, there's one area of our life that should never be approached with moderation, and that's our writing.
Writing is the one area where excess is best! We should be writing anything and everything we can squeeze into our day, after adequate but moderate levels of food, exercise, and paying work of course. The more we write, the better we develop our writing skills. So, write with abandon. Write short stories and essays, romances and mysteries, nonfiction and fan fiction. Run wild. Have fun. Try something new. A recommended daily allowance of writing has never been developed because there's no such thing as writing too much.
Let the words flow across the page, enjoy each sentence as you weave your story. Writing freely is the ultimate joy. It's a fat free, calorie free, party of words that won't leave you broke, suffering from a hangover, or visiting the clinic.
There is, of course, one tiny rule: You must set aside some time for editing those parts of that verbal mountain that you wish to share, submit, or publish. No, I'm not trying to burst that bubble of wordy overflow you've had so much fun creating—get ready for it—editing can be fun too!
Editing gives you the chance to dig deeper, exploring the nooks and crannies of your writing that you might have missed in that crazy outpouring of nouns, adjectives, and verbs. At the same time, you can correct those missing links, chop off the unnecessary tangental stuff, and experience the pure joy of tightening a story, polishing it till it sparkles like a fine diamond.
Oh, there's another small bit to all this. Once you're done with your editing, get a professional editor—not your mom, neighbor, of BFF, unless they just happen to be a seasoned pro—to comb through your work. Once they're done, study what they've done. There's so much you can learn, and all of it will make you a better writer. How did they tighten the story up? What grammatical errors did you make over and over? What punctuation faux pas were you guilty of? How did they improve your dialogue, storyline, readability? Yes, the services of a professional editor can be expensive, but if you soak up everything you can from their work on your current piece, think how much less you'll have to pay them to do your next one. And the one after that, and…
Life is a journey. Writing is your chronicle of that journey. Live it, love it, embrace it.
©2014 MaryChris Bradley
READERS: We hope you enjoyed this week's edition of our #WW Writer Wednesday Series and that we'll see you again next week when guest blogger, writer, and mystery aficionado Margot Kinberg will be talking about finding time to write! Till then, "Butt in chair, WRITE!
~ The Black Cat