You should be exhausted when you finish your story. You should feel as if you have just ripped yourself open and that there is nothing more to give. Doubt yourself. Be convinced that you are a charlatan. Anything good you wrote was entirely accidental. Be sure that you will never be able to do it again. You’ve somehow delivered something special. You have no idea how you got here and you have no idea if you will ever do it again. In fact, be convinced that you won’t. This exhaustion is the moment of greatest celebration. That’s when you know you’re finished. And if at first you do succeed, be entirely astonished.
THIS IS THE SECOND-TO-LAST ENTRY IN “LETTERS TO A YOUNG WRITER.” TUNE IN NEXT WEEK FOR THE FINAL INSTALLMENT… AND LOOK OUT FOR THE COLLECTED “LETTERS TO A YOUNG WRITER” FROM RANDOM HOUSE ON APRIL 4TH, 2017
Read all the entries in Colum’s Letter to A Young Writer and come back next Friday for the FINAL installment…
Letters to Young Writers | Young Writers Archive