Writing Academy, Memoirs, Novels, Short Stories, Book Proposals

New York City Writing Coach

Gay Walley

To feeding yourself as a writer

There are a few lessons to keep in mind. You have to throw off the table perfectionism and control. They’re relatives of each other. Perfectionism comes out of the inner controlling “mother” or reasonable facsimile saying, This isn’t good enough. Of course, it isn’t. Making art is messy, flawed, disappointing and one of the great truths about writing is nothing is final. Delete. Improve. Begin to begin again, as William Carlos Williams said. You have to be willing not to know how it is going to turn out. You have to be willing to fail. As Samuel Beckett so famously and wonderfully wrote, “No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” Art is made of that.
On the other side, you have to let go. Nothing happens as we want it and the only way to “get there” is to stop trying and bring our best self to the activity. Focus. Take a risk. Listen to your inner voice. Always wanted to try this story? Do it. Be there. And life or the work will come to meet you or it won’t but you will have listened to your inner daimon. That is what we do.
From the last lines of a David Lehman poem…
“for this restraint is Buddhism
which teaches that you’re bound
to get what you want when you
no longer want it and when you
conquer your appetite you’re
served the greatest feast ”

Start your banquet on the page.