Monday, May 11, 2015

Be humble and write your way to success

*Note: for clarity and brevity the male pronoun has been used in this post.

Whether you are an aspiring writer or an established one, your writing can only get better by two obvious factors: writing as much as you can and being open to constructive criticism.

A lot of amateur writers make the mistake of not paying heed to feedback from fellow writers and/or mentors. Even when they’ve published some of their work (i.e., short stories, articles, novella, novel, etc.), they still need a support system.

A humble writer is a smart writer; he is more interested in honing his writing skills than tooting his own horn. Leave the ego at the door! Even great writers need an editor and a healthy dose of criticism from his peers.

Carver was known for his realistic portrayals of characters and his minimalist style. Nonetheless, Carver still needed an editor to bring his work to the next level. Remember, editors work hard to improve fiction, and as writers, you don’t want to get reputations of being difficult to work with. Although the story is indeed yours, you still want to put your best work out there. What good is it to write it if it’s not worth publishing it?

Ernest Hemingway also believed that writing in the euphoria of the moment (whether you're drunk or not) is advisable, but editing should be done when the ecstasy of writing has left you. Edit your work after you’ve taken a break from writing. If you can't edit your own work (for whatever the reason: lack of time, inspiration, or skills), ask a colleague to do it for you or hire a professional editor.
In conclusion, a good writer will not only write as often as he can but will also be open to constructive criticism. A good writer invests time in researching, writing, getting feedback, editing, and re-writing the piece (if necessary).

As Indian composer and singer-songwriter, A. R. Rahman said, "Success comes to those who dedicate everything to their passion in life. To be successful, it is also very important to be humble and never let fame or money travel to your head."