Schrödinger’s Writer

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To create, or not to create? That is the question. For if we do and fail we fail, but if we don’t we’ll never fail or succeed. 

We’ve all felt it right? That cringe, nails on the chalkboard feeling as we go through our writing or art from the past. Maybe you personally haven’t, but I know I have and it’s terrible. As a writer myself I have noticed I feel the need to write it perfectly the first time—to avoid this later cringe-feeling. 

The thing is I know for a fact my writing has improved over the years, I know I’m better now than I ever was and I will only keep improving. But at the same time, I’m writing now less than ever. Why is that? I have a theory. 

Perfectionism. Maybe that’s a bit of a simplification but it surely comes back to it no matter which angle you attack it from. 

There is more pressure than ever to write something good, something publishable. Writing is now what I want to do as a career, not just something I do for fun. That is what is terrifying. Rather than my writing flowing I feel like I have stage fright when I sit in front of my blank document, or even worse my work in progress 5 chapters in. 

How do we as young creators know what is good enough? Well I don’t think we can know until we let ourselves fail. Over and over again. The starving artist trope is a trope for a reason, and I don’t mean that to scare you, or say you have to be thirty or fifty before you get published or successful. 

What I mean to say is you have to stick to your guns, here and now and put yourself out there any way you can. Whether this means you stop over analysing your work, or you send your manuscript to fifty different publishers just in case. 

We live in a world where we are constantly told we need the newest, nicest, and best things to be successful. But in reality this is holding us back. If you never give yourself a chance to fail, you will never truly succeed.

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