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Uneven writing is unavoidable, not to mention supremely frustrating. The result is a burbling anger simmering right beneath the surface when every word doesn’t appear on that page the exact way I wanted, when the scene I imagined doesn’t translate to the page. Contrast that to those words and scenes that flow forth with epic ease, perfect in every way (which, by the way, never happens the first time around. NEVER!)

Upon inspection, something interesting is occurring. Not all words and compositions are equal. Sometimes, they’re smithed together with such precision and skill it feels effortless, like a Ken Griffey Jr. home run. Other times, they’re weak pop outs to short stop, all because of that barely missed sweet spot on the bat. Neither is the result of a lack of effort. And if it were easy, 35 HR in a season wouldn’t be spectacular. The right combination of seeing the pitch and making contact.

Question: How do you get better at eliminating the uneven writing?

Solution: Write and write a lot.

Over the course of my writing career, I know I’m improving. I’m increasing my vocabulary, I’m taking more risks fundamentally in structure and story. I can identify when I want more elaborate sentence structure and when simple structure will do.

I can see the difference between my baseline skill now and 15 years ago. I notice fundamental weakness and through practice, I eliminate them. Or, become quicker at identifying when they’ve occurred and compensating for them.

Example: Tangential ideas. I know I can often wander off track. Now, I’m able to more quickly identify when this has occurred.

Then again, maybe even playing every day, I’m simply not Major League material. Maybe I top out at AAA. That’s not the big leagues of best sellers but hey, that’s better than pickup ball in summer league.