Food Writer: Words from the Wise

“Writing is not a contest. Every writer is starting from a different point and is bound for a different destination. Yet many writers are paralyzed by the thought that they are competing with everybody else who is trying to write and presumably doing it better. This can often happen in a writing class. Inexperienced students are chilled to find themselves in the same class with students whose byline has appeared in the college newspaper. But writing for the college paper is no great credential; I’ve often found that the hares who write for the paper are overtaken by tortoises who move studiously toward the goal of mastering the craft. The same fear cripples freelance writers, who see the work of other writers appearing in magazines while their own keeps returning in the mail. Forget the competition and go at your own pace. Your only contest is with yourself.”

—William Zinsser, author of On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction