Are you tempted to leave your blog behind, or move that book idea to the round file? Or maybe you’ve already given up.
I’m here to tell you: Don’t give up on your writing.
It takes a long time to become a good writer. I’m determined to get there. What about you?
Ira Glass understands how long it takes. As the executive producer of This American Life, he helps other writers become excellent storytellers. And he’s one of the best storytellers in America. If you’re not already listening to This American Life, please start now. You can learn so much — and be entertained and moved.
So when Glass gives writing advice, as he does in this video below, I listen. I’ve listened to this clip many times, actually. I like that he admits that it took him longer than anyone he knows to get good at his craft. Also that he knew his work wasn’t that good, for years. So how did he become so successful?
He didn’t give up.
Please watch this short video to find out why.
This idea resonates for me. One of the reasons I became an editor is because I knew I was a better editor than writer. I could help other people improve their work, but I couldn’t do as good a job for myself.
It took 40 years to become a better writer. That’s okay. What helped me was writing more, versus becoming fed up with myself and writing less. I’ve tried writing less and even stopping, but doing so made me unhappy.
So if you stopped writing, what will it take to pick it back up? Is it possible to re-inspire yourself to improve? And if you, like me, keep going, how do you motivate yourself?
Maybe you are happy with not writing. But if you have a new creative craft, like baking, photography or video, they’re going to bring up the same issues. It will take time to become accomplished. So the message is the same in the end: don’t give up.
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