wendy {dot} blog

A Renaissance Soul blogging on traveling, books, work, miscellany, and enjoying life.

Perversity of Spirit

Talent is the least important thing about a writer, compared to a love of books, which must be deep and abiding.

The only thing a writer really needs is perversity of spirit, the emotional equivalent of a cartoon character’s bouncy springiness, so that after being run over or blown up—or, in the case of the writer, rejected, then rejected some more—the writer is irrationally unfazed by even the most valid criticism and continues with the work of being a writer, magically unharmed.

~Rufi Thorpe on what it takes to be a writer (Poets & Writers, Sept/Oct 2014)

The beautiful part of writing is that you don’t have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon. You can always do it better, find the exact word, the apt phrase, the leaping simile. ~ Robert Cormier

This goes well with a bit of advice I came across a few years ago about not seeking perfection in your writing. It went something along the lines of telling yourself that writing is a low-risk activity compared to surgery, rocket science, and other endeavors where life literally hangs in the balance.

Every now and again, it can be liberating to remind yourself that no one ever died because of a horrible piece of writing, no matter how bad it is. 😀