It’s all about forward motion. Doesn’t matter what breaks, catches fire or falls over. Get up. Eat fire. Step over debris. Keep moving.
– Warren Ellis (Though I can’t find the original link. I like to think that Warren realised he was being vaguely motivational and decided to purge the post from the internet.)
About a month ago the artist Eliza Gauger posted a series of tweets about artistic/creative Berserkers, and I finally found a term to describe my writing practise.
You need that berserker nature – you know why? Because maybe you’re not good enough… yet. Are you going to get good enough sitting around and waiting for inspiration to strike? Are you going to get good enough if you can only work when your surroundings are just so? Are you going to get good enough talking about your writing?
No. You just have to do it.
Similarly, if you’re worried that story you’re working on is shit – finish it anyway*. Maybe it will be shit when you’ve finished, but you’ll have spent time developing skills that you don’t work on every time you start a story and then abandon it because something isn’t working.
*As with all writing advice, this comes with a caveat; always in moderation. If you’ve written 10k words on something and it’s not working, there could be a reason for it. But short stories? Anything you can finish in under 6k? Finish it. Just fucking finish it.