This short clip of Ta-Nehisi Coates talking about the writing process just blew my mind. It blew my mind for a couple of reason, one because it so specifically encapsulates the fears and insecurities that most writers deal with. There is this pressure to write amazing things, every time, and sometimes you sit down and nothing comes. Its not like writers block however, its not that you have this thing to say but your brain is blocking them, its more like you can write and write and writer, but everything that you scribble is GARBAGE in comparison to, as Coates puts it, the music that is in your head.
“Its not really that mystical, its repeated practice over and over and then suddenly you become something you had no idea you could be”
Two, because sometimes as a writer you forget this simple thing, that you just have to write, its that simple. The words may not come and that okay, but you write and then edit and write and edit, and sometimes you can’t find the music, and sometimes you can. And if you can’t, its okay, just write and write and edit. It is so easy to doubt yourself and your craft, it is easy to see your peers getting published in journals or winning big slams, and think of yourself and your art in relation to theirs. You compare your words and your likes and retweets and make a determination of your worth. This can be so damaging and limiting to your own growth.
Listen to this interview:
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