A line from a book struck me this afternoon. “[W]e learn to walk by falling.” If you think about it, it’s deeper than it looks.
We learn to do just about everything by failing. In walking, failing means falling. But in other endeavors, we tend to start off making lots of mistakes, and as we go along we — hopefully! — make far fewer mistakes. That’s why there’s a big difference between minor league baseball players and those playing in the majors. Talent has an effect, but the bottom line is that the guys in the minors are still learning, still making mistakes, and those in the majors have made most of the mistakes already.
Writing is no different. When I publish my first book — whichever one it turns out to be — I’ll be a minor league author. Do I think I will be able to walk into the stadium of writing and swing a pen like a big name author like Raymond Feist? Of course not. But with time, and more books, I might just be able to reach his level of writing.
But it won’t come without lots of practice, and making mistakes.