There are two types of writers: the reader/thinkers and the doers. You can read all the writing books ever written but unless you actually put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard and become a doer, you aren’t learning to write. Many would-be authors never write anything because they think they could never be as good as their favorite authors. I can assure you; those famous authors you see in the bookstores and libraries were all rank amateurs at one time. They felt just as helpless and frustrated as any beginning writer feels. The only way their work got to those bookshelves is because they learned by persistent writing.
You aren’t going to publish everything you write, but everything you write is worth something to you. Studying and evaluating your writing will teach you what makes bad writing (the chaff), and what’s good (the kernels). It then becomes a matter of separating the two.
Before you can be considered an artist, you have to learn the craft, and as in any craft, there are certain basic elements you need to master. It’s important that you learn grammar, punctuation, and spelling before you enter today’s writing market. Editors do not actually edit these days, so it’s up to you to know the basics before you get serious about writing for publication. Nothing will get your manuscripts kicked to the reject pile faster than god-awful grammar, sorry spelling, and poor punctuation.
The great writers each have a unique style. You learn style by reading and copying the masters in the same way artists study and imitate the greats. Learning someone else’s style allows you to create your own. As a persistent writer, your style, which is is a reflection of your personality, will ultimately shine through. Copy Stephen King’s personal style and you will never be anything more than his shadow. It is infinitely better to be yourself and allow your own style to emerge.
My advice is to stop being so serious about this whole writing thing. It’s supposed to be fun, relaxing, and therapeutic; so relax and enjoy and write, write, write. Be sure to visit http://www.creativewritinginstitute.com and sign up for our free newsletter and class schedules. Happy writing and good luck.