Don't be afraid to make mistakes

The only way to get good at writing is to write. Write a lot. And then write some more. And then get back to what you've written and rewrite it. Seriously, that's the only way. Ask anyone who's good—he'll probably never answer because he'll be busy writing.

The reason many people fail at getting good—they don't do the writing. The reason for that—their fear of making mistakes.

The Russians I know will take pride in pointing out my mistakes. This is their way of saying they are better than me: more intelligent, better-educated, with more experience. Last article I wrote—oh, had I not gotten my ass handed to me! All those people, salivating with joy, writing up screens and screens of how I went wrong in English, how I don't belong and should stay down, bury myself in Siberian snow and never write again. It pains, but it's good pain.

Here's the deal.

The more you write, the better you get. When you write a lot, you will make mistakes. Your readers will point them out and you will correct your writing. You will get good. You will get better.

So whenever you feel like writing about something that matters, just get your ass to the keyboard and do it. Write it up until you are loving what you see. Make those mistakes. Get shit from your readers. Own that shit. Then clean that shit out and move on.

Here are some tricks that help me cope with my fear of mistakes:

Admit to myself that I make mistakes. Nobody's perfect, unless you have a degree in Linguistics from an Ivy League college, in which case you're wasting your time reading this.

Make sure this is the best I can do. Before I publish, I spend the time to read, re-read and re-write, until I am confident: this is the shit. I can't do it any better.

Thank everyone for input once I get the criticism. People give feedback to feel good, so there is no reason to not let them.

Correct what truly matters, ignore the rest. Some people will spend time arguing about dashes and commas—fuck it. I'm here to get good and help others get even better, not to prove I'm right. Especially not about the dashes and the commas.

And then write some more.

Get shit. Own the shit. Correct the shit. Then write some more

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2016   editing   work