I’ve known more than a few people who have tried something creative a handful of times, not been pleased with the results, and moveed on to something else. It’s like they really think a) it’s that easy or b) that they miraculously have what it takes to start out strong.
I previously reviewed Ann Patchett’s wonderful essay about writing, The Getaway Car, which is full of wonderful points like this:
“Why is it that we understand that playing the cello will require work, but we relegate writing to the magic of inspiration?” … “If a person of any age picked up the cello for the first time and said, ‘I’ll be playing in Carnegie Hall next month!’ you would pity her delusion…”
Good writing takes time. Quite a bit of time, in fact.
While I always wrote, I’ve been at it seriously for almost 23 years…and I’m just starting to feel like what’s in my head makes it to the page.
That’s not to say I didn’t have some successes along the way, but it takes time — and not many people are willing to put in a couple decades (often with no pay, or very little pay) to finally reach the point of writing well.
What do you think of Yuvi Zalkov’s video? Does it really take roughly 20 years of effort to be a good writer? If not, what do you think it takes?