Quality Writing · 19 September 2008

Not too long ago my wife said that I should not give up my day job to be a full-time writer. My mom echoed the same sentiment. They were not being critical, they just wanted me to make sure that I was taking care of my family. At the time, I had no intention of quitting my job to become a writer anyway. I figured that eventually I would need to quit my full-time job because I was making too much money writing to afford the time to keep teaching. But so far, that has not happened. Yet. And even though I had no intention of quitting my day job to write at that time, I am certainly happy that I listened to the advice I was given.

Recently, my wife gave me some other good advice. It was really a critique coupled with some advice. She said that my writing seems to have gone downhill in quality. Sure, I have written over one-hundred columns that I have posted online. But have they really been quality writing? Have I really been proud of what I have written? Mostly, I have been proud, but I also know that some of my writing has not been of the quality I have come to expect from myself. Consequently, I think that I will follow my wife’s advice.

My wife said that I was probably focusing more on product than the quality of that product. As a writer, part of my product is certainly my writing, but another even bigger part of my product is my reputation. That reputation is hurt by putting out writing that does not have quality. And while that same reputation may be hurt by the failure to continue to meet the implied contract of putting out a column every week, I feel that I must sacrifice that weekly deadline for better quality writing.

I still plan on putting out as close to weekly columns as is humanly possible for a part-time writer, but I will only put out a piece of writing that I am proud of. I will only publish columns that have been edited sufficiently. I will only put out a product that has quality.

There are times when I hate to admit that my wife is right, but I must admit that she always gives me good feedback on the things that are important to me. I hope that there are not too many disappointed readers who need that weekly dose of Musings, but I hope that those who really enjoy my writing appreciate that I want to give the world quality. Maybe when I go full-time in this business, I can return to putting out weekly columns. I am sure that my wife will be able to give me some good advice on that subject too.

© 2008 Michael T. Miyoshi

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