Making New Pots

Last week I said I’d have more to say about failure and writing.

When I first started writing, like a lot of people I felt that *this* book had to be made perfect, *this* story had to be my very best. I was like the students in the quality half of the pottery class, trying to make one perfect pot.

It’s not until I moved to the quantity half of the class that I started to make significant improvement. Of course, it’s impossible for me to say that the improvement was definitely a result of trying to write more stories, since I was doing a lot of other things differently as well, and I’d learned during my quality phase too. All I can say is that when I started writing more stories–doubling or more my annual story output–they started to get noticeably better.

Which is not to say that I don’t have a long way to go. But it does explain why I have a ridiculously long list of stories sitting around waiting for me to revise them while I keep writing new ones. I keep telling myself I should fix that, but it’s too tempting to think about the pottery class analogy and make a new pot instead.

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