“Nothing written is perfect the first time around. In fact, many writers don’t care at all about first drafts; they say the real writing is done when revising.” -- Isaac Sweeney in 5 Universal Writing Rules.I wonder how many people didn’t realize this when they decided to give writing a try. I also wonder how many of those folks decided writing wasn't for them once they found out. I learned the truth of today's quote while studying for a bachelor's degree in music education. I hated writing papers. It took too long to complete an assignment, and I often submitted something that wasn’t my best work. I didn’t write anything for a few years after graduation, until I purchased my first computer and wrote a few short stories and a novel. I never submitted any of them for publication. Two years later, I enrolled in a second masters program. The quality of my papers improved, primarily because I was older and better organized -- and it was easier to edit a word processed document. During my career as a librarian, I wrote many position papers, training materials, brochures, journal articles, product reviews for professional journals, and e-mails -- and struggled with all of them. It wasn’t unusual for me to spend forty-five minutes to an hour composing a 200-300 word e-mail.
Even with all this experience, I still find writing hard, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The end result is worth every struggle trying to figure out why a character won't behave as she should, every piece of paper crumpled in frustration, every battle with my inner critic, and every rejection received until a piece is finally accepted.