Writing is not hard. Continuing to write even when you’re not pleased with what is written is what’s hard.
Anyone can pull out a blank sheet of paper and start jotting down thoughts. The difficulty emerges when we have to confront the disappointing reality of where we are in relation to where we wished we were.
It’s not the blank page that frightens writers. It’s the filled page. The blank page can neither condemn nor humiliate writers as much as their own poorly composed words can.
Creating is fun. Facing what we’ve created is frightening.
The “hard part” in any creative endeavor lies in the judgments we make about ourselves during the learning process.
Everyone has the power to create results. Everyone has the power to do the things it takes to become competent in their areas of interests. This kind of power is of great value, but it doesn’t go very far in distinguishing us from anyone else. The world is saturated with potential. The kind of power that matters is the power to stay focused on developing our skills even when we don’t get to look good in the process.
To learn, by definition, is to do something you’re not good at while you are still not good at it.
That is, learning isn’t learning unless the not being good part occurs simultaneously with the doing it anyway part.
It’s impossible to attain mastery without moving through mediocrity.
This isn’t a bad thing, but it is a humbling thing.
It’s much easier for us to just talk about how hard something is than it is to own up to the fact that it takes time and discipline to become the kind of person we wish to be.
The aspiring creator’s greatest struggle is not doing creative work; it’s learning how to continue doing creative work even when the work they’ve already done makes them look and feel uncreative.