The Practice of Practice: Learning How to Write (Quote of the Day)
I believe that great writers are made from a mixture of two things: talent and practice. No one can be truly remarkable without either one of these, no matter how much they have of the other. That's a lesson anyone can learn without trying; just think about what your writing was like when you first began. The likelihood is you can easily identify marks of immaturity.
My teenage poetry was overly angsty—"crawl into a corner and die, but no one will notice" angsty. When I began writing short stories, I focused too much on the description of the setting as opposed to what was going on in the story. Snoozeville. And when I began writing novels, I never finished anything. Out there somewhere in the abyss are five poor novels that never got their endings, and it's all my fault.
Happily, all of those problems had a purpose. There's no shame in them. I needed those years of immaturity to teach me how to write—to mold me into the artist I've become—because the act of writing really cannot be learned all at once. To be quite honest, I don't know if it can ever be fully learned at all. It seems to me that as long as you're still writing, you're still growing; still perfecting; still becoming who you are as a writer.
And that's half the fun, isn't it? ;)
Today's Prompt: What were your weaknesses as a beginning writer? Identify at least two of these, and then write a short story featuring these failures.