I remember when I was a kid and I played tennis for the first time. I was already a very good baseball player and could play a little football and basketball too. Tennis, however, took me quite some time to figure out. My brother Adam is 5 years older than me and when I was 12, my 17-year old brother pretty much dominated me at everything.
I’ll never forget the time that I was just an annoying 14-year old who persevered and finally beat my older brother in tennis. It was one of the greatest accomplishments of my young life and one that I still consider to be a goal that I fought tremendously hard for. I worked my ass off to beat him and the end result was well worth all the defeat I had to endure prior to that glorious day.
Writing is similar to learning how to play a sport. It’s difficult at first but with hard work and practice, you can become great. When you sit down and write, your first draft should be lacking, to say the least. Many times, it will just plain suck. You’ll read it again and think to yourself, “What in the world was I thinking?”
Anyone can write but only the diligent can edit. Editing can be excruciating and mundane at times but it is necessary.
It’s not optional.
You will need to edit, rewrite, and then do it all over again, many times. So, don’t worry about your writing not being any good. Instead, keep working and keep writing. The only thing stopping you is you.
No matter what your profession might be, excellence should be your main goal. Some jobs can be difficult to muster the motivation to work hard but diligent work is the only thing that ultimately gets you ahead in life.
Yes, I agree that connections, timing, and luck all play a role but hard work will overshadow all of that. If I fail, it’s because I chose to fail. The only time I lose is when I quit. I am a determined individual and when I set my mind to something, I accomplish that thing or I give it all I have in my failure.
Colin Powell said, “A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
Think what you will of his politics, these words couldn’t be truer. I grew up in construction and know what it means to work hard. I’ve run my own cleaning business and lawn care business and understand physical labor. I write for anywhere from 2-6 hours each day and can relate to being mentally tired.
Whatever you want to do in life, keep working until you achieve your goal. Don’t let negative people get in your way and at the same time, take constructive criticism to heart. Use it to make yourself better and improve whatever it is that you’re doing. While you may not fully achieve your goal, you can at least know that you tried and gave it your all.
So, be encouraged. Know that you’re not alone and there are more people out there just like you than you could ever imagine. There are other struggling writers and actors; business owners and students. Take comfort in the fact that people have been overcoming the odds stacked against them since the beginning of time.