I read an inspiring post by Jeff Goins recently called “The Difference Between Good Writers and Bad Writers.” You can see the whole thing here, but there was one quote in particular that stood out to me.
“[Good writers are] resigned to the fact that first drafts suck and that the true mark of a champion is a commitment to the craft. It’s not about writing in spurts of inspiration. It’s about doing the work, day-in and day-out.”
It’s definitely spring here in Portland. We’ve had a few sunny days, my electric bill is finally falling, and the trees are in full bloom. I saw the one below this morning when I pulled into work.
Writing these days has been good and I am fully immersed in the editing process. To my surprise, it isn’t nearly as awful as I thought it would be. In fact, I’m kind of enjoying myself! I love the story even more than when I first began writing it, and the characters have become comforting and familiar to me. I know their tendencies, their fears, their darkest secrets and their happiest moments, and as I edit, these things are only coming into sharper focus. In short, I guess I didn’t expect editing to be as rewarding as it has been.
Still, perseverance is playing a key part, and that’s where Jeff Goins’ quote above comes into play. In order to meet my May 31 deadline, I need to get through at least three and a half pages a day, six days a week. This is achievable, but it definitely doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room.
Now that I know where I stand, I’ve got my eye on the goal. My first draft is a mess. It’s full of lousy writing, inconsistencies and lovely little rabbit trails leading nowhere, but it’s mine, and it’s finished. What sets me apart now, what sets you apart as a writer, is a dogged determination to make your piece the absolute best it can be, and then to share that finished product with the world.
Perseverance. Courage. Determination. How are you exhibiting these as you pursue the writing life today?