Wisdom

YESTERDAY Sam Sykes (@SamSykesSwears) tweeted something that echoed with a lot of writers, it seems; at least, it got quite a few retweets. (No, I’m not talking about the epic and hilarious back-and-forth tweetstorm between him and Chuck Wending that made news a few days ago.) Here’s what he said (link here):

No matter how many stories, scripts or novels you’ve finished, you will, during a new project, become convinced you don’t know how to write.

Man, is this ever the truth. I don’t know why it happens, but every time I start a new project I can guarantee that right away I hit this wall. There’s this feeling that you just have no idea what you’re doing. It’s not lack of confidence per se, although if you let it go on long enough it can certainly lead to that—the feeling that you’re not and never will be good enough.

So the answer is, don’t let it go on.

You’ve already done this, right? You’ve written a book, or a short story, or a poem, or a magazine article, or something that you started and finished. You did it before; you can do it again. Get a cup of coffee and sit down, and make a start. Get busy, and the feeling will disappear like fog when a breeze comes up.

What’s great about Sykes’ words is that he’s a well-known author; so if even he gets the heebie jeebies when starting something new, the rest of us duffers can reassure ourselves that we’re in good company.

Until next time, gentle reader . . .

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