8. Writing is fueled by hard work rather than innate talent.
“I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits down routinely feeling wildly enthusiastic and confident. Not one of them writes elegant first drafts…For me and most of the other writers I know, writing is not rapturous. In fact, the only way I can get anything written at all is to write really, really shitty first drafts.” -Anne Lamott
Lamott’s line about “shitty first drafts” has gotten a lot of airtime in the writing community. Many writers seem to use it as a rallying cry.
To me, this quote is a great reminder of the fact that authorship is not a land of “haves” and “have-nots.” The world population has not been divided into capable writers and hopeless wannabes.
If even the best writers in the world struggle to write beautiful prose, we know that writing is a learned craft — one in which we can all improve over time.
We earn the blessing of the Muse by putting in writing time — not by being born with a golden ink pen in our hand.