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Why can’t I write good yet?

I really want to be a good writer. Like really, really good. I want to be able to put words to page that make people laugh, make people cry, make people think yeah, she’s quite good. And every time I write creatively I think: this is it. This is going to be the best thing I’ve ever, ever written. It is most definitely going to be amazing. But all the time, it’s not. I have yet to read any of my printed features in full, because I’m dying of embarrassment within the first paragraph: I know it’s not good, and I’m gutted.

But over the course of my journalism journey so far, the most important lesson I’ve learnt is that writing takes years of practice.

Watch this:

Just keep at it.

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About Rhian Jones

I am a freelance music business journalist based in London. My career began when I saw an apprenticeship with freelance education journalist Janet Murray advertised in the Guardian. I applied, and after a gruelling two-day Alan Sugar style assessment, got the job, quit university and relocated to London to pursue my dream of a career in the media. The apprenticeship ended on a high when I secured my first journalism job at Music Week. I spent my week days writing news stories, interviewing and learning all about the fast paced nature of putting together a weekly magazine, all while gaining invaluable insight into the inner workings of the music business. After three years and a few promotions, I left my position as news editor to go freelance in 2015. Alongside two regular gigs as London correspondent for US trade rag Hits, and contributing editor for Music Business Worldwide, I've written for publications including Company, Grazia, The Sunday Telegraph, the Guardian, The Independent, Music Ally, Billboard, The Journalist and Music Teacher.

5 responses »

  1. hey, you’re doing okay. i check out your stuff and i like to say i have a discerning eye or ‘taste’ as ira would put it. but, it does take that volume of work… he is, indeed, correct. xo, sm

    Reply
  2. I agree with sweetmother, your stuff is pretty good already. But I wouldn’t just say loads of writing is the key to improvement – plenty of reading is arguably more important. As many styles, formats and perspectives as you can cram in.

    Reply
  3. Thank you both. This is definitely something most young writers go through, and esteemed professionals are never too quick to admit they went through the same thing, very encouraging video. Yeah, you’re 100% right Dan, reading good writing is just as important, and thinking about what it is that makes it so good – I’ll be adding that point in!

    Reply
  4. Reading is definitely the key here I think. I too had a passion and drive to move forwards int his world as an esteemed and revered novelist, but as I moved through my University years I found that my ability to engage and excite had dramatically suffered. My reading materials were extremely one-dimensional and informative in a formal and educational way, rather than teaching and educating through excitement and captivating prose.

    Taking the time out to read biographies on album sleeve covers, newspaper obituaries, poetry, jokes, short stories, product descriptions etc is a fantastic way to really kick-start the expansion of your ability to write fantastically engaging, focused and creative material. For instance, read product descriptions for say, 3 individual brands of….dog food. Then, take your pen and attempt to write a bio for a favourite musical artist of yours int he same style. By understanding the differences in how to construct, engage, and approach your audience you will begin to automatically select and develop the relevant style that will blow you readers away. 🙂

    Reply

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