I need to start with a big spoiler: Yes, my writing improved a lot.
One of the things that helped me realize I needed help was the etude assignments. I was always honest; etude workshop was a lot of fun and having some feedback from my classmates helped me notice some mistakes I’ve made in the past.
It’s hard to make a good self-critique. Some of us used to believe we got everything right the first time, and that’s a huge mistake when speaking of any creative work. We just need to take a look at some of our favorite literary works. If we pay attention, we’ll notice one or more mistakes, so why would we do everything right the first time without professional editing? It’s certainly easier to point out someone else’s errors than our own, that is for sure. That’s one of the things I learned from this class, and I bet that is the most important if we think about it.
Writing takes time; just like learning or creating a new recipe, you need to screw up a couple of times, but it’ll eventually be tasty for you. You are the chef, so that means it won’t be enough if it’s tasty for you. After you try many times to get the flavor you like, the chef has to take a second, a third, or the looks it needs to be good enough for the customer, too, and that’s a summary of any creative process. Writing, alpha, and beta reading; one or more editing process comes next, and the final touches; the manuscript is not going to correct itself, right?
Now, some of the details I noticed more as we took the classes are the error patterns. I made a lot of vague emotional or physical descriptions instead of showing the readers what I meant. Also, I believe I didn’t do this much, but I remember from my classmates using the past and present tense. That got corrected on the latest etudes, but it was common at the beginning of the semester.
Overall, I’ve been enjoying this writing journey. It makes me feel some kind of strange freedom, and I’d love to continue through this.
The more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know much.