The Evolution / by Arch Magazine

What marks the difference between a good writer and a great writer?

That’s the question I ask myself when I struggle to figure out what to write for my creative writing class. Getting the ideas is never a problem; I can look outside my over sized window and write about a pine tree. Give me any topic and I could figure something out, although it might not be very enchanting. I consider myself a good writer. But how do I take that extra step to be a great writer?

We all can figure out what a bad writer is like, and at one point we have all been bad writers. Our problems can range from the fact that the story isn’t engaging, the grammar is atrocious, or we just don’t care about the topic. And there comes a point, through repetitive writing and editing, when we evolve into good writers. Similar to the way Pichu evolves into Pikachu: slow, but so worth it.

It’s at this point, I realized, that it’s possible to plateau. We can reach that status of a good writer and just stop, satisfied with what we’ve become. There’s nothing wrong with this, because we all worked hard to get here. But how can we take a step forward? Again, this question plagues me as I struggle to find an answer. Now, every piece I write feels like it’s on the same level as the last one. It’s not amazing; it’s just good.

I’ve come to the answer that we, as writers, must be open to criticism. This means allowing writers better than ourselves to devour that which we have written. And I mean devour, with sinful glutton. This, while it may sound easy, is quite hard to do. We have to be able to take their advice and allow ourselves to not take things personally. If what we write stays behind closed doors, then it can never step out and grow. Writers are prideful; everything we write comes from the heart. This, we must balance our pride with our humility. Since this is one of the best ways to step forward into the category of a great writer.

- Forhad Rahman