We’ve been doing a lot of decorating lately in our house, over recent months, and have now volunteered our services to my mum to redecorate her lounge. What I’ve taken from this extended period of physical labour is that doing the job properly can prove a laborious process and is not one for the fainthearted. It can take years to acquire the skills to be deemed proficient, as we learn and adopt new and improved techniques along the way.
With this in mind, I feel writing can be regarded similarly. We practise our art regularly to hone our talents; read voraciously; immerse ourselves in ‘how to’ guides to perfect our craft; join classes; seek out the online community and connect via social media; undertake courses, and discover a multitude of ways to generate new and original ideas in the hope that this delicate blend will amalgamate to produce the desired result. But, we can so easily get it wrong.
Just as in decorating, failure to undertake the necessary preparatory work for a writing project can lead to a botched job and an ill-timed sequence of events can ruin all of our procured hard work. Of course, they’ll always be the exception to this rule: that one person who appears to carve themselves a niche in the market without the painstaking effort that the rest of us have to put in. Fortunately, they are in the minority, if they truly exist at all.
All crafts are a breeding ground for imperfection, but it is how we react to the feedback we receive and whether we choose to learn from it and grow, or brood and continue to make the same mistakes time and again, that matters. If we decide on the latter, it is easy to stagnate. Far better to admit it wasn’t our best work, realise our mistake, then move on. Only then can we perfect our art.
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