September 29, 2016 by bradcharlesbeals
If you looked at everything I’ve posted about writing, you’d think Annie Dillard and I were good friends. I quote her a lot. Like right now.
She once wrote, “You don’t know if your writing is good or bad.”
Annie may know a lot more about writing than I do, but if I hadn’t read it from her, I’m sure that at some point I would have said something like this myself. Because I know what she means.
If I were to plot the gut feelings I have about any one piece of writing, it would have all the linear sense of the shot pattern from my 12 gauge. A little indigestion or my team loses, and the chapter I’m working on sucks. But when the temperature and humidity are just right, or I’m content and full of food, then hey! This is good stuff!
It’s all bunk, and neither the heady flight nor the pathetic wallow is helpful.
So I just keep writing, and whether it turns out to be good or bad, I’m ok with being the last to know about it.
And by the way, Annie and I are good friends. She just doesn’t know that yet.