Perpetual Novice

I’ve written over 2,500 articles. I’ve done daily blogging on and off for years. I’ve published ten books.

Yet I show up every morning and face this blank screen with no idea what I’m going to write, how I’m going to write it, or whether it will be good.

When I’m done I don’t really know if it’s good either. There’s no metric or grade or expert to decide. Some posts make me happier than others. That’s about all I’ve got to go on.

I have no method or rules for writing either. Every time, I’m making it up from scratch. Tendencies and styles have emerged, but I’d be lying if I said those were deliberate decisions or disciplines. I just start typing and don’t stop until it feels like I’ve said enough.

I rarely edit and am bad at editing my own stuff. If I do, it takes the form of hitting publish, then reading the published piece over once and noticing mistakes or parts that make me cringe and quickly changing them.

The point is, I have no idea if I’m a good writer or a bad writer or a mediocre writer and I don’t even know how I’d measure it. Which is perfect because I don’t care. I write for me. Not to achieve any kind of status as a “good” writer.

So I’m not a good one to ask about methods and processes and rules for writing. I can sometimes tease out things that I notice, and I’m good at editing and workshopping other people’s writing, but I’m basically making everything up as I do. It’s just my gut reaction to ways things could be more enjoyable to read.

I am not bragging or claiming that perpetual amateur hour is a good thing, but it’s my reality and it doesn’t bother me. I’ve been writing for 20+ years and I’m still a novice.