Yesterday I wrote about how I believe any writer can go from mediocre to good, or even great. Today I’d like to talk about the other side of that coin: how much work do you need to do to become great.
I’m not a football fan, but an interview with a player from the 80s has always stuck with me. He was talking about a newbie transferring into the club. The newbie worked hard in training and then everyone headed for the showers.
The player looked around in the locker room and couldn’t see the newbie. When he went back out, the newbie was out in the stands with a weight in each hand, running up and down the stairs.
The player was exhausted from training and couldn’t believe the newbie was still at it. He asked him what he was doing and the newbie said he trained harder to become the best. He wasn’t happy to be in the first division. He wanted to be the best in the league.
That’s the same attitude I try to bring to writing and believe all writers should bring. I give up on a lot of books as a reader. I only finish about 10% of what I start. Part of that is because I’m a picky reader, part of it is someone’s writing style not fitting with my reading style, but part of it is a writer who isn’t there yet.
A chunk of responsibility comes with the fact that anyone can be great. With self-publishing, there’s only one barrier to writing great books and that’s effort. The more freedom you have, the more responsibility comes with it. Train harder and smarter than anyone else. Run up those steps.
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