Many times, we throw our work away before we give it a chance. We must learn to read our writing as if it is not our own and try to see it from the eyes of someone else that is not emotionally invested in the work. It may sound strange but it is important to become a good reader and the only way to do this is through practice.
If I only had one paragraph in which to convince someone what is necessary to become a better writer, I would tell him or her practice. Nothing can take the place of practice and it takes a lot of practice for one to become good. I would tell them practice on many different styles and to write about many different things. I would tell them to turn off the editor in their brains and just free write for a while.
I would also tell them to try to make this as much fun as possible.
Writing is easy and writing is difficult. I would refer them to Stephen Kings novel, “On Writing” in which he explores this topic. If the book is not readily available, I would recommend his article called “The Writing Life” in which he explains that practice is the only thing that will get the writer to the place he or she wants to be. He states, “The only things that can teach writing are reading, writing and the semi-domestication of ones muse. These are all activities one must pursue alone” (King). He should know.
Miller, George. The Prentice Hall Reader. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. 1994.
King, Stephen. “The Writing Life.” Washington Post Online. Site Accessed May 30, 2008. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/09/28/AR2006092801398_2.html
Rosa, Alfred. Models for Writers. Boston: Bedford/St..