The Difference Between Good Writers and Bad Writers

I have run across some interesting articles lately about what makes a good writer. Some of the characteristics come naturally to me, some I need to learn. But one thing I know after nine years and 3,000+ posts here on RJsCorner my secret is in the editing is as much or maybe more important than the first inspirational thoughts that start each post off on the publication process.

Here is the source of the topic for today:

2017-12-11_11-40-03.pngWhat good writers do Good writers practice. They take time to write, crafting and editing a piece until it’s just right. They spend hours and days, just revising. Good writers take criticism on the chin and say “thank you” to helpful feedback; they listen to both the external and internal voices that drive them. And they use it all to make their work better. They’re resigned to the fact that first drafts suck and that the true mark of a champion is a commitment to the craft. It’s not about writing in spurts of inspiration. It’s about doing the work, day-in and day-out. Good writers can do this, because they believe in what they’re doing. They understand this is more than a profession or hobby. It’s a calling, a vocation. Good writers aren’t perfectionists, but they’ve learned the discipline of shipping, of putting their work out there for the world to see. What bad writers don’t do Bad writers don’t understand this, which is precisely what makes them bad writers. They (bad writers) presume their writing has achieved a certain level of excellence, so they are often closed off to editing or rewriting. They can seem haughty, prideful, and arrogant. But really, it’s laziness and fear (mostly fear).

Source: The Difference Between Good Writers and Bad Writers

Many times my daily posts go through at least five editing sessions. I would guess that about half of the original thoughts never make it through this process. They started out with an idea that just didn’t have the depth or personal interest to sustain the initially intended post.

Except for the short snippets that I occasionally put out, I never post first drafts. They almost always have typos or just don’t say exactly what I wanted. My first drafts suck.

The one part of the quote above that I have some disagreements with is that much of my writings come in spurts. Sometimes I will write five posts in one sitting and then go five days without authoring a word. But one thing I do agree with is that writing is a calling and not just a hobby or profession. Before I started RJsCorner nine years ago I had journals from decades before. I still do my journals in addition to the blogging.  Writing is a passion for me and I think I am kinda good at it. But that statement is up to you to make.

Writing is Recursive

canstockphoto25159365.jpgOften times in my life I feel like I am going in circles.  The same things seems to always crop up to mess things up.  I didn’t get married until I was forty so I had my share of dates.  But on second thought I really didn’t.  I knew I was not very good at it so I didn’t even attempt that often. Except for a very few occasions I just never could get past the second date.  With those kinds of experiences in life I knew I was different from many around me.

I would also later learn that I was just not very good at first thoughts and casual conversations. What came out of my mouth was often alarmingly blunt to many around me.  There were some that were brave enough to tell me so.  I didn’t have a clue until that happened. I said what I thought and I imagined everyone did that!

It may sound like I have the wrong title for this post but stay with me as I am coming to that point.  Many times after failed dates I would lie in bed going over our conversations in my head. I would often come to the conclusion that if I would have said this or that differently things might have gone better.  I would lie awake and keep trying to find that one sentence that, if I would have said it better, things might have worked out.

It just didn’t dawn on me at that age that I was not much of a extemporaneous speaker or conversationalist but I did know that I was a pretty good writer.  I always got an “A” in all my composition type classes in high school and college. What was the difference? Of course it was that writing is by nature a recursive task. Few writers can ever get it right the first time.  We constantly rewrite. Writing is recursive, at least good writing is recursive. I would finally discover that my sometimes strange characteristics were made for writing.

My Aspie characteristics make me a pretty poor speaker but a good writer and in the end I don’t mind that at all…

Writers Should Make People Uncomfortable..

One of the axioms of  writing is that it should make people uncomfortable. If it doesn’t then you are not stretching the horizons of those reading your words.  Even before I heard this it was in my heart. One of the foundations of RJsCorner is that I try to get people to think outside their boxes to other possibilities.  I am constantly looking for ways to stretch my horizons and I think everyone else should do the same. Being stuck in place is one of the primary causes of where we are today.

Why do I think that maybe I can make a difference? In many ways I am considerably different than most who likely read my words.  I just see the world differently than the average guy. Part of it is because of my Aspie characteristics, another is because of my deafness.  I am in the sub-one percent of the population.  That, and my total life experiences gives me a unique view of the world.

People getting out of the established venue is something that is becoming rarer and rarer.  With the explosion of the Internet it is just too easy to sink down into a given political mindset and almost be totally ignorant to other views of the world. It’s too easy to just turn on FOX or MSNBC and ignore the rest. I have seen that far too often when I visit some of my high school classmates.  It’s hard to believe that I once saw the world as they still do but my experiences since those years long ago have given me a different perspective.

I am not shy about putting forth my spiritual views nor am I hesitant to talk about those who fall in lockstep with a particular religious doctrine that I think drifts away from the foundations of their beliefs.  I am not apprehensive to  talk about how evangelicals have poisoned the church of Jesus by their radical “survival of the fittest” attitude when Jesus spoke almost totally about being your “brother’s keeper”.

I know I write things that make people uncomfortable. The evidence of that is my somewhat limited viewer counts.  I am told that I should stick to one particular niche. Instead I cover such a wide variety of topics.

Writers should make people uncomfortable in order to expand their readers horizons…