Skills shortage! The new writer’s plight.

My goal over the holidays is to work on a novel that has been simmering for a while now but I’m often assailed with doubt about my abilities to the point that I was moved to write this poem. It’s tongue in cheek but nevertheless it hits the mark.

Skills shortage

If you read, read read
can you write, write, write?
I thought so, but that’s
the new writer’s plight.
Because I can spell
and put commas where
they go then surely,
I’m half way there.
But it takes more than that.

Writing’s a skill
to be honed day by day
and scribbling down words
earns a writer her pay.
Its practice, practice
and practice again.
On a regular basis
not just now and then.

The mechanics are useful
it has to be said,
but good dialogue and plot
is what will be read.
I’m full of stories
of people I’ve met
and things I have done
and not written about yet.
It’s so much harder
to do than I thought
to make up a story
good enough to be bought.

So practice and practice
and practice again
and feed back from
talented writers group friends
are just what I need
to get out of the clouds
and write something of which
I can be really proud.

Sylvia Plath said, ‘The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt,’ and how right she was. It can paralyse you, so I am doing my best to ignore my inner critic and however much he sneers, keep tapping away at those keys.

I wish all my blogging friends a very Merry Christmas and a much brighter year in 2021.

Wendy xx



  1. Happy new year Wendy! Clearly you know plenty about writing especially the basic: write. I used to have waves of euphoria (enjoy them!) while writing and interludes of quasi-objective this-is-crap. 50 years later I still enjoy the euphoria and accept the downers– trusting the process is key. The process for me being, write the whole thing superfast just for fun. Then rewrite, at least three times. And do it for you, now. Sorry, unsolicited advice, not wanted!

    Liked by 2 people

      • Someone said, writing is easy, you just sit at a computer and bleed. That’s what it’s like more days than not. I can understand you not having the chance to get into it. I can’t write without clear head space. I bet you haven’t had much of that lately.
        So good to hear Les is making progress. I can’t get over how much he looks like his mum without his hair 🙂 Take care, stay safe.


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