You Don’t Have to Suffer As a Writer (I Recommend that You Don’t)

By: Ebonye Gussine Wilkins

Woe is me, woe is I. I am a writer and I have the hardest job in the world! I have to put perfect words in the perfect order on the page every single time or I am the biggest failure to my profession.

Yeah, good luck with that.

In case no one told you, no one is expecting you to be perfect except you. Not every writer will win a Nobel Prize, and not every writer will sell 100,000 copies in their first year. That’s really okay. I’m sure most writers don’t want that kind of attention anyway. You want to share your thoughts or tell a story. So write what you want to write. There is no reason to agonize over every word (that’s what editors are for). There is no reason to keep re-writing what you’ve already done. That will just ensure that you never finish your writing. Just go with the flow as best as you can. You can’t perfect writing that hasn’t been finished, so it’s your job to at least finish it first.

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Do yourself a favor and go easy on yourself. That doesn’t mean slack off though. If you are the kind of writer that sticks to a schedule, then by all means stick to your schedule. Write what you believe is necessary, but don’t beat yourself up if it’s not perfect. Every piece of writing can use some improvement, including best-sellers and prize-winners. The only thing you’re in charge of doing is writing the best writing that you can do. Everything else is just details.

You have something special to offer your readers. Only you know what that is. Once you’ve written your work and given it to your audience, then they’ll know it too.

Do you agonize over your writing? Do you have regrets over things you’ve written in the past?

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