Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Practice, Practice, Practice

By Darvell Hunt

In all honesty, I believe the best way to write a great novel is to first write a bunch of crappy ones.

I spent last Saturday attempting to groom my yard (dang it, Adam and Eve, thanks for all the thorns!). My yard seems like an endless task, but on the bright side, I get to do physical exercise.

Oh wait, was that the positive side? Oh right. Yes, the physical exercise that I tend to neglect during the cold months. Now that I’m back in the yard, it seems I have to start over with my reluctant body.

I can blame my allergies, which seem to be more bothersome this year for some reason, but mostly I had to quit working early because I got pooped. I haven’t exercised my body enough this year to really get any significant work done. Not yet, anyway. I expect by summer’s end, I’ll be lifting huge rocks (of which I have plenty in my yard) and mowing the lawn in ten minutes flat.

Writing is like physical exercise. If you don’t do it often, you forget how. Your creative muscles tend to lax and you write more garbage than you like. I believe that if you can write stories as casually as chatting on the phone to your friends—and do it as often—then you are finally to the point where your stuff just might actually be good.

For me, I’m afraid, that point has come only after so many novels that I don’t count them anymore. (I think it’s around ten to twelve that I’ve finished or done considerable work on, but it’s discouraging to count them, so I stopped.)

It’s all about practicing your craft, just like exercising your body. The more you do it, the better you get at it. Hopefully, I’m getting good enough to achieve my goal of getting published this year.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

1 comment:

L.T. Elliot said...

I hear you, here. I've gotten a little rusty lately and it's time to sharpen up the tools in my writing shed. Hopefully, it won't take long. Thanks for the thoughtful insights!