A fellow writer sent me a link to an online discussion today. The topic was whether the writers felt like their writing had gotten better over time, or whether they’d lost something along the way as they learned craft – lost some of their creativity and spontaneity. Most of the reactions fell into one of two groups – those that felt their writing had lost something and those that felt their writing was better in the end, even if the initial draft wasn’t as creative.
The idea is that as we learn craft, skills and techniques, we internalize them so that they come out in our writing without having to think about it. That doesn’t happen quickly for most of us, if it ever does. I think this is where something like NaNoWriMo can come in handy. Because of the time constraints, you’re forced to just write without editing or too much planning. Then we can go back and apply the things we haven’t internalized yet when we edit.
Maybe this is the long way around the barn, but it’s the way I have to work right now in order to preserve my creativity. I want the best of both worlds.