I had need to use my old baster the other day. Pitiful thing. I didn’t mind it, didn’t notice it being old nor pitiful, UNTIL I’d bought a new one for my daughter-in-law. That new one was so slick. It sucked up the juice real fast-like, filling up the entire holder in less than a second. Using my old dripping, half-filled, semi-functional one made me think of writing. Of course, it did. For all roads lead to writing in a writer’s mind.
Here’s the parallel: what was good and classic 35 years ago, doesn’t cut it in today’s writing world. Can writing be less wordy, more proactive, and certainly more tight, and still be(come) a classic today. You bet. What used to be acceptable in writing 50 or 35 years ago just doesn’t cut it today. Things have even changed in that past 20, or 10, or 5 years. Writers may not whine, “But I just want to write.” Writers today must not only be writers and marketers, but aware of yearly writing trends.
So how do we keep from being 35-year-old basters? By tossing out the old and get started with the new. Whiners are not allowed here. Keep the old that works, certainly, but pay attention to the new that works slicker and more effectively. Read books on writing. Go to conferences. Listen in on focus groups and listservs. And by all means W-R-I-T-E!