January 24th, 2020

mood - writing is hard (arthur): kathyh

Writing Words of Wisdom

Contrary to popular wisdom, being ‘blocked’ is not about running out of things to say. Instead, it’s succumbing to the unrealistic expectation that your work must Be Great Now. It’s a decision to remain silent rather than speak and maybe stumble. It’s the determination to avoid failure, which is a great way to ensure that the humbling work of getting better will never begin. But if you’re willing to lower your expectations, to temporarily mute your inner critic, then incremental progress is always possible. And that’s where novelists have struck on something. Above all else, writers are people who allow themselves the freedom to suck — unrepentantly, happily, even. They’ve learned through hard experience that out of failure comes something better. And that the only catastrophe, really, is the refusal to keep trying.

— Joe Fassler