Doesn’t it seem like the more you learn about writing the more you realize you still have to learn? I remember the days where I thought a second or third draft would be good enough for publication. I mean, sure, there might be a few typos here or there, but once I got the initial story out, that was it. Right? Riiiiight? (Haha!)
That’s why it’s good to keep this quote in mind. From Ernest Hemingway:
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
There may be apprentices who are far more advanced than you are, but the idea that you can master writing is foolhardy. There’s always improvements to be made and new things to learn. You do your own writing a disservice if you’re not constantly striving to become better every day you write.
Now there may be stories you have to leave in an imperfect state because that’s as far as you can take them at that time. Often you hear published authors wish they could go back and fix some things about their published novels. And that’s okay. It’s better that we get used to the idea that we’re always going to be making improvements. Always. Editing should be something we embrace and in some ways be excited for because of the greatness that will come from the polishing.
So raise a glass to yourself, fellow apprentice, and let’s keep on keeping on!
Do you agree with Mr. Hemingway? Did you used to believe a first or second draft was liquid gold from your pen? How has realizing you’ll always be improving helped you in your writing?