You’ve read thousands of pieces of writing. You may even have produced thousands—in which case you probably have strong likes and dislikes about myriad aspects of writing. At times, you may feel as if you’ve reached your limits as a writer, that you have little if anything left to learn about the subject. Well, it’s true that you’re unlikely to learn much if that’s your attitude!
On the other hand, you may feel as if you cope by merely tolerating your on-the-job writing responsibilities. Good enough is good enough. Each new task puts you back to square one, with various obstacles to overcome to reach the level you’ve learned to call “good enough.” Even if you’ve been writing for years, you may think that satisfactory results depend largely on luck rather than on your own skill.
If writing gives you a touch of page fright, you’re not alone. Even seasoned professionals aren’t immune from such anxiety. But writing is much like any other skill: as you gain experience—the right kind of experience—these moments of fear or anxiety will diminish. With sure-footed know-how coupled with practical repetition, you gain a relaxed sense of well-grounded confidence. With greater skill comes enjoyment. You learn to recognize and accept the gifts that good writing brings. These gifts are more bountiful than you once might have thought.
If you’re open to sharpening your skills—and to learning significantly more about a subject that you’ve studied since grade school—you can reach the point of becoming eager for your next session with the legal pad or keyboard.