I’ve been looking back through the past two years’ posts to pull things out for a book of poetry I’m considering. First reaction? Wow. Some of the early stuff is pretty bad. I can barely remember the guy who was starting out back then. A lot has changed, but I’m glad I don’t do this exercise much.:-) Second, some things seem worth exhuming for a second look. Such as this one. Thought you might enjoy it.
This is the nub of it for me, and for other writers I’ve come to know, either personally or through their work:
“To put it in the sort of simplistic terms that I’ll no doubt come to regret using: self-doubt is the best friend and the worst enemy of the writer. Because being a writer isn’t like being a tennis player or a boxer, where you presumably have to hunt down and ruthlessly eliminate the source of any flickering shadow of suspicion that you might not be destined for victory. As a writer, you have to take your own misgivings seriously; you have to attend, now and then, to the little voice in your head or the booming baritone in your gut that wishes you to know that what you are writing is entirely without value.
The trick, of course, is to know when to listen to it and when to tell it to shut its stupid fat face. …”