Tuesday, September 8, 2009

How To Know Your Writing Is Getting Better

You should know I don't put much stock into outside validation. I don't shun it *who says no to praise?*, I just don't depend on it. One way I've found to know if I've grown as a writer, is to read some of my older work.

Compare and contrast. It's a very simple process. Open up a story you haven't looked at in a while. May be one of the first stories you wrote. It doesn't have to be completed, just earlier work.

Below I will provide a list of possible reactions that let you know you may have grown as a writer:

1. If there is a God why didn't he smite me for writing this dreck?

2. Fork. Eye. Gouge. Please.

3. What? What!?

4. I must have been drunk when I wrote this.

5. I sent this out to publishers?

6. No wonder I drove my CP up the wall.

7. I didn't write this, I couldn't have written this.

I could continue, but I think you get my drift. I was moving some old files onto another computer. I was feeling nostalgic and read my first book. Let's just say by the end of the first page I needed a glass of wine. I also realized that even on the days it feels like I'm getting nowhere, I have grown. No longer do I try to imitate Nora Roberts when I write. Okay, badly imitate Nora Roberts. I've come a very, very long way.

How far have you come?


  1. LOL, Melissa! But what a great lesson! We've all definitely grown and maybe we all need to see that at certain points in our journey. Very thought provoking.

  2. Thanks, Sandy. It's easy to forget how much we've grown as a writer when we're in the middle of writing or revising, and have an I.E. that is never satisfied with any prose.