A few weeks in a newsroom with a couple of crusty copyeditors exploded that attitude. Objectively, unemotionally and dispassionately analyzing your writing is one of the most valuable skills you can develop to further your writing opportunities.Think of it from an editor’s point of view: A poorly written but well-structured piece of writing can be polished.A poorly structured and poorly written piece is a nightmare, and rarely worth the editing effort it demands.If we could only find the books, the tried-and-true books written by trusted masters. And once in a while you find a writing book that speaks to your heart and gets to the core of what you’re struggling with right now. First, you need to cultivate a brutal, raw honesty.You need to accept that not every power word, every emotional thought, every adjective-loaded sentence that flows from your hot fingertips is precious. Sometimes harsh, sometimes funny, but always honest, they can be thought of as a kind of syllabus for writing. Sure, there are other difficult practices like law and medicine out there, but a person becomes a lawyer or a doctor when he or she passes a series of exams and graduates from a certain school. There aren’t tests to study for and facts to memorize. From grammar rules to publishing advice to personal narratives, these books on writing reveal in intimate detail the ins and outs of what it means to call yourself a writer.They typically describe themselves in one of three stages: You’re a brand-new writer who felt an inner switch flip on, and now a river of ideas is pouring out of your head.You know your writing needs work – lots of work – but you are compelled to keep writing because you feel powerless to staunch the flow. What to read: Ideally, you should be reading both books on mechanics and structure.(More on this later.) Study the structure of screenwriting, novel writing or poetry for six months or until it feels nearly second nature to shift into this new form.The change in your writing will be dramatic and permanent.