Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A to Z Challenge Day 5: Evolution of a writer

Welcome to day 5 of the A to Z Blogging Challenge!  Today I'm going to tackle the letter E.  I have to admit, this isn't as easy as I thought it would be.  I made a list from a-z and thought I'd fill it in with ideas so that I'd be prepared each day, but so far, the list remains blank and I come up with something at the last minute and just start writing.

Today I decided to write about the evolution of a writer.  As a writer, there's always room for improvement and room to grow.  You can always get better - even if you think you're an amazing writer, and even if you are an amazing writer - you can always get better.  We're always learning and honing our craft, growing and exploring, and coming up with new things.

It's interesting to me how time, experiences and life in general can change your perspective.  When I was 20, I wrote my 2nd novel and I loved it from conception all the way through.  It was my baby and I was so proud of it, even though I knew it needed a lot of work and that it was about 30,000 words short of being a 'real' novel.  None of that mattered to me - what mattered was that I had taken this idea that I really loved and I had written a story that I loved just as much.

Seven years have passed since I wrote that novel.  I've gone back to it a couple of times and read parts of it and thought that I knew where I could start to make changes and flesh it out.  It wasn't until recently that I finally decided it was time, and I brought it out and I'm actively working on it.  In the last seven years, I've finished school, traveled, fallen in (and out) of love, and learned so many things about the world and about myself.  I've grown a lot as a person and as a writer and it feels like it's time to finally finish this book and get it published.  I can see a million different ways to make it better, and although it is kind of daunting, it's exciting too.

It's also interesting to see the evolution in other writers.  Nora Roberts is one of my absolute favorite authors - I think she's a prolific genius and if I could someday be half the writer she is, I'll consider myself successful.  I've read a lot of her books, and it's interesting to read the earlier ones from the 1980s especially and see how far she's come.  She was good then but she's great now.  All of her books have a distinctive style and voice, her characters are so real, and the plots are engaging.  Over the last 30 years, she's become a master at hooking a reader and keeping them interested from beginning to end. 

Anything I've ever read from successful published authors says to keep learning.  Keep reading, watching movies, going places, engaging people, taking classes - basically keep your mind sharp and the ideas flowing so that you're constantly getting better.  That's how we evolve as writers.

If you're a writer, what has your evolutionary process been like?  Do you feel you've come a long way since you started writing?  How do you keep learning and growing?  I'd love to hear from you, all comments are welcome and appreciated, even if you just want to say hi and let me know you were here!  I visit everyone who comments and return the favor - I've actually found some of my favorite new blogs that way!. :-)


  1. All writers evolve over time, it is what keeps them relevant. Great post on E. Happy A-Z!

  2. Even the greats seem to still be evolving, and it's interesting to go through their older books and enjoy it. Some even seem to over-evolve until they're going backward. My personal evolution is still in the down and dirty era. I went from writing all the time in middle school and high school, to doing so sporadically in my early 20's, to hardly writing in my late 20's, to jumping back in now and hitting it hard. This is the place I like to be. If I'd kept up the momentum of my school years, who knows where I'd be now, but who knows what else I might have missed out on had I not had the time.

    Continued great evolution to you!

  3. I think as writers we're always evolving.

    I really enjoyed this post, great choice for the letter "E".

  4. I loved this post and believe it to be true in many areas of life. The more we do, try and experience the more we have to shift through to write about.
    We have to engage to evolve~ Great post!
    Nice to meet you~

  5. For me, I've only just started taking the writing to publish thing seriously - I always just wrote because I felt compelled, and for fun of course. But evolution has been very gradual and I guess my current state of being just snuck up on me :D

    I too am not planning anything out for A-Z - sometimes it can get a bit scary when the day arrives and you still have no idea, but it's also kind of invigorating!

  6. yep, I hope I keep evolving as a writer too. It's encouraging to know I have evolved as well.

  7. I think i've been evolving for years. None of my prose has been published yet, but I do have a lot to learn. And yes, this A-Z challenge is harder than one would think. But that gets the brain thinking!


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