A little over a year ago, I wrote a post titled The Difference Between Liking to Write & Being a Writer, outlining what I felt made a writer into a professional rather than someone who wrote for a hobby. I want to expand on that a little and talk about how the writer should be improving.
I believe each short story and novel you write is a learning experience. You learn about your writing style, plotting, grammar, how to better describe scenery, situations and characters, etc. It’s a journey from the rough draft to the finished product, getting advice and making corrections as you go.
When you finish your first book and put it out there, it’s your baby and you’re (typically) so proud of yourself and the amazing thing you’ve created. When you put your second book out, you read through it and perhaps the light shining from your original baby dulls a bit. That’s not to say that the first book won’t always have a special place in your heart, but in my opinion, your most recent work should be the shining star.
I know a person who likes to write. They’ve self published a bunch of things (which, according to my previous post should make them a pro rather than a hobbyist) but their stories are extremely formulaic and the writing never improves. The same grammatical mistakes are made in book after book. Typos, plots holes, formatting issues, etc. Because they’re not learning from each experience is why I still consider them as someone who likes to write rather than being a writer. They even once told me they didn’t think grammar mattered! O.0
Life is a journey of experiences and we grow by learning from them. Our writing should be no different. We should be learning from the journey and taking in the advice and suggestions as we go. To know that there’s always room to improve is another quality of the professional. Keep striving to be better.
What do you think separates the writer from those who just like to write?