Eric Maierson (via David Friedman):
You are alone in a dark room. Across the floor are the scattered pieces of three or four or five floor lamps. You don’t know how many. There are screws and bulbs and fixtures mixed together. You try not to panic as you feel your way across the floor in search of these pieces.
Writing and editing (and most all other creative endeavors) are those things which you never feel like you’re getting any better at.
When I read some of my old work and cringe then it’s proof (to me, at least) that I’m pretty sure I’m a better writer today than I was 5 years ago. But the day-to-day act and work of doing the writing itself? Well, that doesn’t feel any easier at all. It’s still a difficult and lonely endeavor. All we can do is keep on trying our darndest to do our best creative work.
Suppose one day I do arrive at some level of skill where the ink flows like honey and the prose like fine wine. I wonder if I’d even realize it. It may very well feel just like it does right now — like today — when it seems as if I can’t even put two words together using copy and paste.