You start off knowing you wanna be great at something. You don’t know exactly what ‘great’ is, but you wanna be it.
Next comes a steep up slope of awesomeness. You get much better, very fast. All your friends compliment you on how awesome you are at it, and you can see the difference.
But then, as you learn more and more about what great really is, you get intimidated. You’re not getting better as fast as you were before, and you can see that you’ve got a really long way to go. What you’re doing now is no where near great, and you know it.
That’s where I’m at with writing. I’m studying the writing of the greats, and there’s some where it seems like every single sentence does 10 things at once. There are multiple strokes of creative genius in every page.
And it’s so diverse! Every writer has his own style, and most of them have like 7. All mindblowingly awesome.
Then I look at my writing. It’s…passable. I look at it when it’s done and I know that it’s good compared to my other work. But compared to the stuff I’m writing down verbatim every morning, it’s chickenscratch. It doesn’t get results.
So, for about a week, I didn’t write much. What I did write was actually quite good, but disappointingly far from what I know can be done.
So the reward to writing seems to have disappeared.
I think I might have quit. Not on purpose, but just because the immediate satisfaction of having written something has dramatically decreased. Replaced with a sense of “it’s okay” and an apprehension that this too will be a statistical failure.
I might have quit, if it wasn’t for Ira Glass and this quote (read that right now, especially if you’re a beginner like me).
But she’s right. I’m gonna go through a ton of suck before I get a bit of awesome. But I’ll never get any awesome at all unless I brave the suck.
So, after procrastinating for the last 6 hours or so, I’m off to do some writing for the chill hookahs blog.
It’s gonna suck.
It’s getting better.