Good or Great or Why Bother?

Bear with me for a moment. Here comes some honesty.

I may have a bit of trouble judging my own writing, but overall in life I think I’m a pretty good judge of myself. I’m not terribly introspective, but I can be at times. Right now is one of those times.

I tend to try a lot of different things, for one because I really think that makes life interesting. Also, I like to challenge myself and really don’t like to be told I can’t do something. At least not until I’ve tried first. I consider this a virtue in myself. However, in doing a lot of things, I think I spread myself thin. What I’m trying to say, really, is that I’m good at a number of things, but great at few things. Sometimes I wish I was great at one thing. Wouldn’t it be nice to be great at something?

I play hockey in my spare time. I would say I’m good/fair at hockey. I play softball in the summers. I think I’m good at that. I tinker with photoshop in my spare time sometimes. I think I’m good at that. I also write sometimes, and looking at it honestly I think I’m a good writer. Not great.

As far as writing is concerned, I really don’t think good covers it. There are soooo many good writers out there working to be published. So many. There are so few real opportunities to be published. And let’s be honest. Only a few of those who want to be published will actually have it happen. In fact, probably only a percentage of the great writers will ever see their work in print.

Can you learn to be great? Can you become great with enough hard work? If you can become great with enough hard work, do I have the will to do that hard work? I really don’t know.

This is where I’m at today. I might not be there tomorrow, but I’m there right now. At what point do I realize all this banging my head against the keyboard is not for a lack of effort, but really a lack of talent? Am I wasting my time? Is this something I will ever be able to recognize in myself?

Anyhow, thanks for letting me vent here. I’m not fishing for compliments or pep-talks or anything like that. Just trying to get this out of my system. That’s another thing I’m good at, but not great.

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6 thoughts on “Good or Great or Why Bother?

  1. Personally, I think if you enjoy writing then it’s a great thing to do. I think it’s worth keeping in your head that a tiny fraction of us will get published, but if that is what you are aiming for then you have to keep working at it and sing your own praises as well. Getting your voice heard is key.

    I’m no expert and I have only just started but I enjoy writing and also reading. I think, if you enjoy writing things and people actually want to read them (and you know people do want to read what you write, don’t you?), then carry on…

    Best of luck with it all…

  2. I think you can learn to be a great writer. You may have to work at it harder than some other people, but as long as your progressing and see a difference in your writing then you’re on the right track.

  3. This is exactly why writers are driven. It’s not only that they enjoy writing, it’s that they HAVE to write. Even if they knew they don’t have a snowballs chance, they will scribble. It’s part of who they are, what they do.

  4. It’s not about becoming a hit. It’s about doing something you love. Who cares if you’re great as long as you are enjoying what you’re doing? I know. Easy for me to say. I’ve been where you are, and I have almost thrown the towel in, but like Al Pacino in The Godfather, they keep pulling me back in–the words I mean, not the Mafia. Do what you love, and it comes with its own reward whether you get paid or not. Hang in there. You’ll be positive again soon.

  5. I think every single writer asks these questions of themselves at some point. I know I have! Like the other posters mentioned, when it comes down to it, writing is all about loving the written word, and enjoying the writing process… even if it does get tough at times.

    Best of luck. (And just saw your other post, too… glad you’re feeling better!)

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