Monday, March 20, 2017

Perfect Practice Makes Perfect

We have always heard the expression that "practice makes perfect." For many of us, this is what has driven us to get to the gym, work on improving hobbies and so forth. The problem though, is that this statement isn't exactly true. Practice does not make perfect. PERFECT practice makes perfect!

I do believe a lot of writers out there have really missed this point. I hear people go on and on about getting to be published is about "doing your time." For many, they seem to believe that if they just keep writing, eventually something will stick. Many of these writers even extend this argument by looking at their file folder in their office with all of those rejection letters. They will then reference all of these major authors who were rejected a ton of times:
  • Agatha Christie was rejected for 5 consecutive years before landing a deal.
  • JK Rowling received 12 rejections in a row before landing her deal
  • Louis L' Amour is often cited as having over 200
  • etc., etc., etc...
Now, before I state that these people had other factors at play when it came to getting their stories published, many current writers are not in those situations. They are simply not learning from their mistakes and just doing the same thing over and over again. I see this all of the time with people who submit to me. Many will keep sending me submissions and there is simply no growth in the writing.

Why? They are just practicing and not working for that perfect practice.

Just writing a lot of stories (or even smaller writing activities) is just practicing. Moving to that perfect practice level requires studying what you write, analyzing other writers to see what they do, tweaking and fine-tuning your writing to get that precision. And yes, this takes time.

I am often screaming here on the blog that becoming published takes time. Many seem to think that this time factor is, again, just putting in the hours. But hopefully you can see that it is a lot more than just writing words.

When I work with my authors, we spend a lot of time looking at what the editors want and fine tuning the writing. This is that perfect practice.

So make that a goal. Don't just put in the time. Make it useful time. You may find more success!

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