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As writers, we all understand the value of reading. It turns the wheels of our imagination and motivates the artist in us who has been trapped in a cubicle for eight hours to move into open air. Reading is the other joy of writing, the first one. I’ll be honest though, when it comes to putting my words on paper after reading a good book, I just can’t seem to do it. It’s like walking into a Baskin Robbins already knowing what flavor you want and when you get there, you can no longer decide with all the other temptations. When I close the book, I know what I wanted to write. When I open my own, it’s stuck somewhere between brain and my fingers.

I don’t know if this common with new writers or if this is something I will forever be fighting. Eventually, the words get where they should be. In the bad first draft, then the revision, the polishing, the editing and finally, something I have yet to experience, the perfection. I once read that someone else’s journey isn’t yours. I’ve read about novelists who do it perfectly the first time, not many, but they’re out there. Some who do lousy first drafts and then change it all during the second draft even to point of setting and gender being different. Sometimes in an effort just to keep the flow, I’ll write lousy words for good ideas and come back later.

I understand that we’re all unique, not just in our style, but in how we work too. Knowing that takes the pressure off of being perfect. Freedom to suck as a writer brings back the fun that made me want to do this in the first place. That, a good book and a strong cup of coffee, gives me the inspiration I need to keep writing.