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Wisdom in Persistence When Writing

There are few things as rewarding but also challenging as writing a book. Whether it is a fictional story, sharing your wisdom, or simply writing about something you are passionate about, you will face many challenges in different places.

While people think that the writing itself is the challenge, the truth is that it is just one of the many hardships you will face. One of the first lessons you will learn is when you become a writer, you also become your own worst enemy.

This fact will work against you in many different ways. For some, they will constantly doubt themselves and their work, never believing that what they do is good enough, and try to make their work perfect.

While constantly trying to improve is an admirable trait, perfect is something no one can ever achieve and leads to people never completing or publishing their works.

The opposite is equally bad too when you never take the time to look at your work with a critical eye. Confidence is admirable, but your pride shouldn’t blind you to the flaws in your work. Writing requires accepting constructive criticism, both from others and yourself.

One of the people who understood this was acclaimed science fiction writer Octavia Butler. Her works such as the Patternist and Lilith’s Brood series were famous for their marvelous writing from other famous writers such as Orson Scott Card.

These books tackled the themes of futurism, spirituality, and race relations. It shows the issues that humanity has faced from unsustainable climate change, income inequality, and the failures of our current society while suggesting ideas for a new society.

That’s not to say that her works were made overnight. To make successful stories like that, it took time effort, and a lot of willpower. That is not just finding the motivation to write, but also accepting the fact that not all of your work will be good. That’s not what matters, the important thing is having the willingness to keep writing and improving while gaining confidence along the way.

Octavia put it best when she was asked to give some writing advice.

“You don’t start out writing good stuff. You start out writing crap and thinking it’s good stuff, and then gradually you get better at it.”

-Octavia Butler, Writer
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