A lot of people ask and inquire how you become a good writer, they want tips tricks, formulas and ready-made stories. The truth is that’s the fast food of writing. You might learn some things but certain maxims will never get old, ones which cannot be rapidly learnt. Writing regularly is a must and nobody became solid in a short amount of time.
Reading is essential. And not just a little but a lot. Over a long period of time. I think there’s a reason a lot of writers don’t get books published until around their 30’s. The mind incubates all you learn and read and see – over two decades seems to be a good time period for all this to come together in some fashion. Of course I’m not saying writers haven’t written great material before this time in their lives.
I have returned to reading quite voraciously lately and am really enjoying it. Followers of my blog will know I’m writing a book. During an actual project it’s perhaps even more important to read widely. Every book I read inspires me and I learn techniques and see the different way Hemingway writes to Palahnuik. Observing how others write, metaphors they use, the structure of dialogue, pacing and so much more all help tremendously to not only bolster your own writing, but they will provide ideas to take and tinker with in your own writing. An analogy would be of a writers toolbox – slowly and unpredictably gathering bolts, nuts and other equipment as you read. The more you read the more stuff you have to try out and test.