Writing getting better… or worse?

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.


  1. Uninvoked said,

    October 1, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    You make some good points. In my travels around the internet I’ve heard this debate crop up several times. I even hear people wishing for the day when their internal editor would disappear.

    Uninvoked, my noveling blog, was a 2006 NaNoWriMo success. I did it care free, and the results were chaotic, but interesting. (You can tell I was hurting for words toward the end of the original. A monster with a ten word long name that insisted you both address him every time someone spoke and use his full name appeared out of nowhere to lecture the hero on fire safety while inside his swamp.)

    • melorajohnson said,

      October 2, 2009 at 3:34 pm

      I must admit I’ve never heard of a noveling blog. I will have to check it out! Personally, I just want to be able to turn the editor off as easily as I can in Microsoft Word.

  2. deathlynx said,

    October 17, 2009 at 10:56 am

    I don’t edit…if I did, I’d never get anything finished…if anything, I stall my editing until the whole project is donw (not just one book but the series) in case I lose my motivation and never get back to it…As for how my writing is, I think in many respects it’s gotten better, though I’ve found my erotic content has gotten decidedly stale…

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