Writing a book is like digging a well…

I firmly believe writing a book is a craft as much as an art, at least for most of us mortals. There are a few lucky individuals who might be able to lift up a pen and produce something sublime but generally I believe writing to be something that comes with practice.
A friend of mine once likened it to digging a well. You choose your spot and start shoveling and first there is just dry earth. Then, after a little while you might encounter damp earth, then mud, then muddy water. This is the bit that can separate out professional writers from talented amateurs. It can take a long, long time to get this far and the hardest thing in the world is – to throw out the dirty water. You should keep digging, keep working until the water runs clear.
It takes a long-term commitment to become a decent writer and there is no guarantee you’ll ever get published at the end of all your hard work but if you are serious about your writing you need the strength and discipline to keep on working, keep on learning and keep on getting better. Your writing well is only as good as you make it. We all have a drawer full of “dirty water” – early stories, that first novel, half an autobiographical piece or family saga. I know I have and I’m very glad it is still all locked away. Where it will stay until I’ve sucked out the decent ideas and occasional well written passages, after which it will be consigned to the shredder.
Yes, it can hurt but not as much as it would hurt out there, with my name on it, always turning up in Google searches. Oh the shame…
So, don’t despair, keep digging and the very best of luck for your work.

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