Mediocrity is what scares me. I don’t want to be good at what I do; I want to be great.
I get a lot of compliments on work I’ve shown to friends. They love it. They want more. They aren’t just being nice. And it’s not enough for me. Every time I read a draft, I see things that should change. My descriptions are far too weak. Entire conversations serve no purpose. My heroine is too ‘Mary-Sue.’ The list is never ending.
People tell me I’m too hard on myself, but I wonder if I’m hard enough. It isn’t an ego thing. I don’t need the world to know my name and I certainly don’t need the world to know my face. Success as a writer need not be measured in landing a huge book deal or in seeing my name in the New York Times. I only need to know that I never stopped trying, never gave up, never stopped improving.
The next time you read a draft, be critical. I will take it. Thrive upon it. I will grow. And in being critical, you will help me to become great.