Ernest Hemingway’s writing hasn’t always intrigued me.
In fact, when I was a high school student and had to read A Farewell to Arms for my AP Literature and Composition class, I happily employed the use of Sparknotes summaries at least twice for sections of the book I hadn’t read.
I mean, I tried to read the whole novel … OK, maybe I could have tried harder.
Taking a lot of literature and reading classes throughout my education, Hemingway had been substantially built up. To me, Hemingway felt like a micro-deity English teachers and students told me about: He was in the sky or somewhere very distant from me, wearing a white robe with a cigar in his mouth, watching life happen below him—but I couldn’t touch him.
I couldn’t even speak to him. I just pictured him in my mind and wondered what it would be like to be in his presence.
I know it sounds a little magnified, and I wish I could say it’s an exaggeration.
Then I finally had the chance to read one of his works. And I was crestfallen.
It’s an absolute necessity that anyone who wishes to write must read, and read a lot.
Not only is reading proven to improve your writing and help you learn, but reading also exposes you to creative methods you may not have been aware of before. That goes for any creative media. The more you consume, the more you learn and grow as a writer.
For instance, without reading poets like Walt Whitman or Emily Dickinson, I would have never known that some of poetry’s greatest works contain zero rhymes. Without watching Memento, I would have never realized that time doesn’t have to be linear in the films I create.
Consuming media doesn’t just teach you, it shapes you.
The wise and wonderful Elisa asked if I would be comfortable sharing my experiences of having the Craft Your Content team edit my writing. It never dawned on me how personal the experience would be, so I immediately said yes.
As I read through past drafts, I see now how much I have learned. Though quite a bit of it has to do with a mastery (or slight lack thereof) of the English language, much of it has to do with myself personally.
I wanted to share my experience because, more and more often, I see my own clients letting the fear of an editor’s negative feedback take over, and it prevents them from producing a higher level of content. It’s like they dial it in with their simplest writing to avoid any potential questions or edits.Continue reading