If You Just Keep Writing, Will You Get Better?

Author Bar­bara Baig dis­cuss­es the idea of delib­er­ate prac­tice from Anders Ericsson’s book Peak: Secrets from the New Sci­ence of Exper­tise. She says:

When it comes to becom­ing bet­ter writ­ers, most of us make three assumptions:

  1. Each of us is born with a cer­tain innate poten­tial for achieve­ment: We call it tal­ent. Get­ting bet­ter at what we do is sim­ply a mat­ter of ful­fill­ing that inborn ability.
  2. To get bet­ter at what we do, we just need to keep doing it.
  3. Improve­ment depends on how much effort we put in. If we’re not improv­ing, we’re just not try­ing hard enough.

These assump­tions are so com­mon you might not even real­ize you hold them.

It is true that some peo­ple are real­ly good at what they do, they seem to pos­sess an innate great­ness, while oth­ers are seen to work hard to achieve suc­cess, with writ­ing the ques­tion is whether you grow as a writer sim­ply by con­tin­u­ing to write, or is there some­thing else need­ed in order to achieve greatness?

Source: If You Just Keep Writ­ing, Will You Get Better?

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6 Replies to “If You Just Keep Writing, Will You Get Better?”

  1. Improve­ment is also about learn­ing. You can write all day every day, but if you don’t read works from bet­ter skilled writ­ers, work with edi­tors who can offer advice on how to improve your writ­ing, and con­tin­ue to lis­ten and grow, you’ll stagnate.

    1. Peter B. Giblett says: Reply

      We share a com­mon thought about this and even a pow­er­ful writer can stag­nate if they don’t make steps to improve their craft.

      1. Even the greats have to keep get­ting better 🙂

  2. I can relate to the third point, “Improve­ment depends on how much effort we put in.” One needs to be pas­sion­ate about its work if you want to excel as it is right­ly said “Prac­tice makes perfect”.

    1. Peter B. Giblett says: Reply

      Thank you Sum­it for your thoughts. We each have imper­fec­tions to work on, the trick is know­ing what they are.

  3. I’ve writ­ten for many sites over the years and each one had their spe­cif­ic rules to fol­low. I learned from mod­er­a­tors, teach­ers and fel­low writ­ers as I con­tin­ued along my writ­ing path. I think new ]writ­ers would be wise to lis­ten to help­ful advice.

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