“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
"Write without pay until someone offers pay. If nobody offers within three years, the candidate may look upon this as a sign that sawing wood is what he was intended for.” Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
"I cannot live without books; but fewer will suffice where amusement, and not use, is the only future object." - Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 10 June 1815 in Cappon, Adams-Jefferson Letters, 2:443. Polygraph copy at the Library of Congress.
"Bring ideas in and entertain them royally, for one of them may be the king." - Mark Van Doren
"Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow." - Lawrence Clark Powell
We must risk a loss of passionate connection to distance ourselves from our work, to grow a little cold to it in order to revise,
in order to look at a poem [or a story] as a series of decisions.Why this and not that?
Dean Young, The Art of Recklessness: Poetry as Assertive Force and Contradiction
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