I am finally home after a week at the Antioch Writer's Workshop in Yellow Springs, Ohio.
The experience was so impactful that I'll likely be writing lots of posts about it as I digest it over the next week or two.
One thing that stood out for me is one of the presenters said something like, "We will never write as well as our favorite authors."
What? I immediately thought I heard that wrong. But I didn't.
If we don't believe that it's possible to write as well as or better than our favorite authors, then why try at all? If we believe we can't be as impactful as these authors (and everyone has a different list in their head of who these authors are), the simple true is we won't try to get to that level.
My children's martial arts instructor has a simple truth that's applicable to writing (and life in general): if you want to break that board, you have to visualize breaking through it. If you stop on the surface, it's just going to hurt your hand.
I encourage everyone to plan to break through the board. Don't set a limit on what you're capable of doing before you even try. It's entirely possible none of us will actually be as great as our personal greats, but if we don't try that is an absolute guarantee we won't even come close.