Take pride in what you wrote – because you wrote it

2012_August_words“The stories weren’t brilliant. But I wrote them, I began and ended them.”

-Joy Williams

Love this sentiment from Joy Williams, an American novelist and short story writer I admit I didn’t know when I read this quote.

I like this idea of taking pride in your work – not just your best work, but the whole range of what you write. After all, lots of people say they would like to write, and I have spoken to many who say they always ‘mean to write eventually’  but first they must master the craft, understand the industry, speak to other writers, etc etc.

I’m not discounting this, it is certainly true. But if you want to learn to swim, you can watch as many swim meets as you want, you can talk to those who dominate the sport and their coaches, you can read about the theory and the technique of the sport, but eventually you’ll need to jump in the water, get wet and start kicking and stroking yourself in order to learn.

As a former swim instructor, I can guarantee you’ll be pretty awful and clumsy at first, but there is no other way to learn.

It’s the same with writing. You will never learn, you will never get better if you don’t start writing. And by that, I mean what Joy Williams does: write your stories, begin them, and end them. By doing this once, twice … a gazillion times, you’ll learn and improve.

Maybe they won’t all be brilliant. But you wrote them. They’re yours.

And in my mind, that’s something to be proud of.

Happy writing to all!

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