Saturday, March 3

Is your writing any good?


The short answer: If you're worried about it, then if it isn't 'good' right now, if you keep working at it, it will be. One day. At least, that's what Eugine Cross says, but I think he's onto something.

Eugine Cross writes:
I took an Intro to Creative Writing course and was introduced to the work of Louise Erdrich and Yusef Komunyakaa, Lewis "Buddy" Nordan and Raymond Carver. I fell in love and I fell hard. I left inspired and signed up for as many more writing and literature courses as I could cram into my schedule. I started writing and workshopping with my peers and when I did, I reached another important discovery. I was no good. My work was crummy. It was nowhere near as moving or beautiful or polished as the published work we were reading which was understandable, but it also felt weak in comparison to my peers' work. And comparing was what I did. Constantly. I was convinced that each class I enrolled in held only two or three "real" writers and that I was never among them. I perpetually worried about whether or not my stories lived up to those of my classmates when what I should have been worrying about was whether or not they lived up to themselves. What they were capable of becoming. I was consumed with doubt. Was it possible that I had found my calling only to discover that I really sucked at it? Could the world be that cruel? I was certain it could. But somehow, whether from sheer stubbornness or a refusal to accept what I believed to be the truth, I stuck with it. It was not until years later that I would understand that doubt is oftentimes a good signifier of talent, that it actually is talent. As the amazing Richard Bausch puts it, doubt is an indicator that you have an ear for the way the work should sound and that you realize it's not yet there.
Read the rest here: A Powerful Sort of Doubt
Eugine Cross has a short story collection, Fires of Our Choosing.

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