Posted on November 27, 2018
You know I derive the inspiration to write this post from Donald Murray’s, “The Maker’s Eye”. In his essay he is able to bring out the differences in between amateur and professional writers. I always thought of myself as a good writer. I had been praised so much back in middle school and high school by my teachers and peers that I thought it was it. I felt like I was meant for writing and writing was meant for me. All this until I stumbled upon Murray’s essay.
When I read his essay, I realized what it actually takes to be a pro writer. Upon self-reflection I understood that I never did the things Murray mentions are the traits of a good writer. I rather showed traits of an amateur writer or even a beginner writer for that matter. I often used to be pleased with the first drafts I wrote. I never made those many changes. All did was correct the grammatical errors and the sentence structure and that was it. I never made an attempt to look back at my content. Murray mentions that for a professional writer the first draft is often the beginning. It is the start of their writing process. But my first draft was always the end of my writing process.
Another thing that I learn from Murray’s essay is that a good writer is always able to capitalize on their ego. Their ego often aids them in their process of writing. There are these subtle things that differentiate a good writer from a bad one. Such as reading your essay out loud to find the mistakes or being able to accept criticism. Also, the fact that you need to be able to critique your own essay. There was one phrase in Murray’s essay that I can relate to the most. He says, “They must accept the criticism of others and be suspicious of it; they must accept the praise of others and be even more suspicious of it.” It now makes me think back to when my teachers and peers use to praise my essays. I always knew there was something fishy about it.
As my writing skills have progressed over the course of time in this Writing 102 class, I have learnt a lot about my writing skills. As I wrote drafts for assignment after assignment I was able to sense that I was moving towards becoming a better writer. I was able to go above and beyond and explore different ideas for my essays. I scrapped out multiple drafts for a single assignment because I was not happy with them. I might not be a pro writer yet, but I am on the right track. The journey is still long, and the destination is not yet in sight, but slowly and steadily I will get there.