Sunday, February 21, 2010

Being Good Enough

A lot of writers ask whether they're good enough to write. This question always confuses me a little. Why do you need to be good at something you love to do? I wish writers wouldn't confuse "being good at writing" with "being good enough to get published". That's like people not playing basketball in the neighborhood because they never made it to the NBA.

When I feel a story starting to develop in my head, I don't think about it being published. When the words start flowing on the screen, I don't think about it being published.

That is just a part of who I am.

Stories will always come out and be put down on paper. I have hundreds of stories (okay...a little hyperbole, but it's my blog so it's okay) in my computer. Most of them will never see the light of day, but I enjoyed the hours I spent writing them.

A few of those will be attractive to publishers and editors and by extension the public. That is a great thing for a writers ego, but it's not the driving force for me. For me the driving for is seeking out the next inspirations...whether they're publishable or not.

Good writing all! Keep inspired.


  1. What sucks is when "being good enough to get published" is well below one's personal mark of "being good at writing." Then, in a reverse for the ages, people constantly tell that person they're "good enough to get published" and in a way encouraging the person to stop learning and growing or writing for enjoyment.

    I agree though, they're two very different marks, and one needs to decide on their own which mark means what to them, and which they care about more.

  2. Very well put. So much pressure out there to get it "publishable" that many authors forget to differentiate between what's good and what's publishable. For me, the important part is the enjoyment the stories bring to one's self and to others we share with.

  3. I'm glad you both were interested enough in my blog to comment. I hope that all writers take your approaches. It's such a pet peeve of mine when writers blend the two focuses (writing and publising)

    It's such a crap shoot when you decide to take your writing to the public. You may have all the right technical qualities of perfection and an interesting story, but sometimes it just doesn't fit the markets trends, making it unpublishable.

    That's why I just focus on the enjoyment of writing and what it brings to my quality of life. I do the best I can and put it out there. If it's not good enough (by market want/needs) to publish, well then, it's still a moment in time that I enjoyed.

    You two were awesome to add your perspectives to the discussion. Thank you so much.


  4. I love how you always manage to keep things in perspective. I love to write but always have that nagging "is this good enough" feeling, loosing sight of the "this is supposed to be fun" aspect.....