I’m a reader first and a writer second. My love for books started at the tender age of three. I love everything about books; reading the synopsis, gazing at the amazing art covers, and smelling the printed pages. I enjoy the digital versions of books as well because it helps me to read during the night. There is nothing like reading a good book! I can’t count on my hands how many times I’ve read a book that was so good it made me postpone my daily routine. To this day, I still think about certain books that touched something inside of me or left me with plenty to think about. If you’re an avid reader like me, I’m sure you can relate.
As a writer, I have the same level of passion towards writing stories. My goal is to entertain, inspire, encourage, and give readers something to think about. Sometimes I wonder if other authors have the same desires.
Lately, I’ve been disappointed with the types of books I've seen published. It seems that some authors don’t respect the craft of writing. I've read books that seem to have little or no thought-process behind the story's purpose and are poorly written. Quite often the storylines were quintessential with nothing new to share. It has been quite discouraging as a reader and a writer, and a waste of money and time.
There's stubbornness among writers—a belief that we can write and publish anything we want because we can. This egotistic reasoning is a disservice to the readers who expect a well-written and original story. Authors who are out for a quick buck often turn a blind-eye to the craft of writing. While others who have good intentions, but are anxious to put out a book won't feel as though the rules of writing apply to them. Publishing a book too soon could lead to disaster if it doesn't go through the proper crafting channels of writing. A "bright idea" that seems good without any application of grammatical rules and story structure will sink. French writer, Antoinede Saint-Exupery once said, "A goal without a plan is just a wish." As writers, although we're naturally creative beings, if we don't plan the proper structure for our stories or find the right editors, the story will fail under good intentions.
When we love something we learn all we can about it. We practice it until it becomes a habit. Reading and writing every day is helpful. However, taking a writing class is even better. Why not set aside money to invest in honing your craft. Even experienced writers take writing courses as a refresher. One of the best things I learned during a writing workshop is when the instructor told the class, “If you want to write well, you have to read books by people who can actually write.”
There is so much to learn about writing. The written rules of English grammar is constantly changing, and if we take the time to study we can grow. Let's study the works of the writers who came before us, and create our own legacy for the next generation. Our readers deserve better from us, and we as readers deserve better from our fellow authors as well. The works we share with the world should always show that we care. We owe it to ourselves to create a memorable name in literary history.
Selena Haskins chats with Author Letrise Carter of Sistah's Place Magazine for March Madness Authors month.
Author Selena Haskins gives advice on book review tips and responsibilities for book reviewers.
Author Selena Haskins give advice on making characters believable when writing.
Author Selena Haskins discusses why it's important for writers not to take themselves so seriously.