Catapult Staff: What Makes You a Better Writer?
Absorb everything. Write most of it down. If it's still magic after you finish, cut until all that is left are the words you want.
In-house Contributing Editor, Web
Can reading be the answer?"
Director of Writing Programs; Associate Editor, Books
"One thing that makes you a better writer is listening to other people. The stranger on the plane who wants to tell you his life story all the way through your red-eye flight? Just let them keep talking. The worst-case scenario: you learn what a boring story sounds like. Even a conversation that isn't interesting is interesting, if what you care about is structure and style, and people's quirks. There are characters everywhere and there's material everywhere. I guess this magpie habit is why Milosz says that 'when a writer is born into a family, the family is finished."
--Jonathan Lee, Senior Editor
"I think the two most essential things for me are empathy and community. Building and exercising empathy allows me to inhabit my characters' experiences in a more convincing way. It is also just a really big part of being a human being! And I'd be lost without my community of writers. Writing can be so isolating. I think it's important to support your peers, and look to them for support in return."
--Casey Gonzalez, Creative Project Manager; Associate Editor, Black Balloon