Halfway through the writing course, our instructor — not known for being one to sugar-coat — threw out a challenge:
“Send me a favorite piece of your writing and I’ll critique it; I’ll tell you whether or not it’s any good. The only catch is, I’ll be critiquing it in front of the entire class.”
A surprising number of us (bristling with hope and hubris I suppose) took up the offer. The ensuing session was, to date, the most illuminating experience I’ve had as a writer.
The key message we all took away?
Not that we needed to self-edit more tightly or have better ideas. It was this:
If we wanted to be truly great writers, we had to first write many, many words. And then we had to be willing to walk away from the majority of them.
Back to the session …