“If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.” -Edgar Rice Burroughs.
There can be a lot to say about a single work that someone pours their entire heart into, working it from every angle and every revision until it is utterly and completely perfect, to create this exemplary piece that reflects all of the writer’s passions and heartfelt feeling inside its pristine pages, but it sounds to me like putting all your eggs into one admittedly well-built basket, but a single basket all the same. Anyone who has taken a peek at this blog lately know that I’ve got eggs everywhere: in baskets, in Tupperware, in boxes, in Mason jars and beer steins. And I’m glad to see a quote like this one from Burroughs that supports the idea that the more you write, the more chances you have that some of that writing will be good and successful. I almost feel as thought it could be a tagline for the 0 to 70 challenge!
This also reminds me of the wonderful post by Sue Healy about sending out writerly ships. Have you noticed my fondness for Sue Healy’s posts yet? She’s fantastic. And it just so happens that she recently had another ship show back up on the horizon, proof that the more you send out, the more are likely to come back, rather than just putting all your cargo into one boat and possibly never seeing it again.
That isn’t to say, of course, that we shouldn’t cultivate each story and try to make it as good as we possibly can. Writing is a craft, and, just as you must pick up new skills along the way, you have to just keep doing it and it will even get a little better because you’re doing it more, you’re doing it better, and you’re doing it easier.
Well, maybe not easier. It just may seem a little easier.
What do you think? I know some of my readers are actually blessed with this elusive thing called an attention span, which allows them to focus on a single work at a time. I am definitely not one of those people, though sometimes I wonder if my scatterbrained scattering of plot eggs is a little too disorganized to be effective. And, usually, though I have many eggs scattered around, I’ll take some time to spend with just one single egg until it’s finished….but I’ll have the other eggs waiting for me when it’s done.