Good writing formula

Litcritics love talking about the role a writer / poet may have in a reader’s life. Talking about it has become a banality, but we’ve got to admit: the role IS big. A good book picked up in the right time can make a teenager quit smoking (unlike parents who always turn up in the wrong time), or provoke a woman to take a new look at her life (and probably run to a hairdresser), or push a shy guy to change his attitude to that bossy boss, or even help an old man stop feeling lonely (really hard task to do).

In this connection, I’ve been thinking about a good writer’s role in a life of another writer. To me, the role is massive, not because we are also readers, as many critics say. No, I dare to argue that.

As soon as you start writing, you never read books with the eyes of a reader anymore. Other writers’ writing bangs into your face every couple of minutes, yelling “This is the way you should have described that storm (that room / that person – whatever)!” Then, as a rule, you grow upset (which is good, because it means you are finally assessing yourself objectively), but you still go on reading and occasionally (only occasionally) you say to yourself, “Well, my scene was not that bad, either-” and then the next stage comes: imitation. Every author goes through this stage. Inevitably. You proceed with your own writing, but the hum from that beautiful book is still very fresh in your mind, and you catch yourself on writing “a bit like that talented guy” It pleases you (because you think you can do it) and irritates you (because it is not totally your writing)- and here the most important moment comes: you either quit writing that stupid story or make a committment to yourself to finish it anyway.

There is just one positive moment in all this process: whether you want this or not, your mind is learning. Yes, this is the nature of the learning process: we analyze what has been done before us and then we go on from there. I daresay, immitation is good. It is just a necessary step towards developing your own writing style. And then, if you are talented, plus inspired, plus patient, plus devilishly hard working (only the four items together, this is a formula!) can bring you to the right result: your own good writing. So, to me a formula of good writing looks like this:

Good Writing = Talent + Inspiration + Hard Work +Patience

Yes, It is as simple as Einstein’s theories. Come on, dear Colleagues, stop reading this stuff! Get back to your work. It is waiting.

bored of writing

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Jerry Jay Carroll

New York Times bestselling author

Words on Empty Ears

Understanding someone’s way with words isn’t as simple as you think.

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My Summa Cum Lousy Life

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