Can you learn writing?

I have three main sources of writing information, from writing magazines, books or internet blogs/websites.  I have been considering whether these actual assist or hinder writing development.

My main query is that is it better to read this stuff first, then write, or write first and then review with the knowledge you get from books, etc.

I am now firmly in the second catagory and would recommend anyone to just write as much as possible without consideration for technique.  The important thing, I feel, is to get the content out first.  You can see yourself from re-reading/drafting and reading aloud how well the writing works and where the issues are.

It’s only then that you should start looking for other sources for guidance.

I’m not saying these sources of information are good or bad, just that consideration should be made as to how it affects your creativity.  I found that I was overthinking what I wrote, the internal editor kicked in way too soon and affected the way I wrote.  In fact, it actually caused me not to write as it became a more complex process.  Writing isn’t complex, certainly not the first draft, which should flow out of you easily and simply, and be fun to do.

So, consider putting the books, magazines and blogs to one side and just write first.  Or if you do read them (and I still will) then put what they say to one side when you write.  Use them whn you re-draft, not on the first pass.

So, what are your thoughts?  Does this happen to you, or do you have a different take on it.  Comments please.

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