Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Better with marshmallows

What is that??
Green hot chocolate. My friend at work gave me a packet of it. It's actually pretty good.  If you're wondering, I don't know where she got it.
So, what does green hot chocolate have to do with writing?  (Wasn't that a random question?)  Think about green hot chocolate. It's not something you see every day.  But, it's still good.  It's hot chocolate, but presented in a fresh, new way.  People say, "Hey, what's that?  I want to know more." And, you think you have a hit. 
But then you add the marshmallows and you realize how much better the hot chocolate is. The marshmallows are the editing, the rewriting, the critiques. As a writer you may be afraid of criticism, or think you're work isn't good enough. Or maybe you think  someone will steal your idea. We want to hold our work close to us for whatever crazy reasons we come up with. But we are too close to it to have perspective. So, we need fresh eyes looking at it.
We as writers need to have other writers around us.  They are the marshmallows that top off our work.  They help us see what works and what doesn't.  They make our work taste better. If you really want to be a better writer don't be afraid to share your work. Find a writing group or a writing class.  You'll find people there who will intimidate you, people who frustrate you, people you want to imitate, people who help you--but they all will inspire you in some way. And even the worst critique will teach you something to improve your writing.
Marshmallows come in different styles and flavors.  Don't be afraid to try different ones.  You never know when one will help pull out the perfect word or phrase.  It's the difference between green hot chocolate, which is pretty good, and green hot chocolate with multicolored marshmallows, which is awesome.

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