The Necessity of Beginner's Mind
by Mark Spragg

Copyright Mark Spragg, 2012. All rights reserved. For reprint permissions, please go to Contact page

As a young writer I cared more for my own feelings than I did my writing, often imagining myself an undiscovered, or at least an under-appreciated genius, when what I most needed to discover was how ordinary my work remained. It took some time for me to understand that there would never be a chance of me becoming a master at my craft so long as I was unwilling to be a self-aware student. The writer's job is one of open, and honest, practice and, like the Zen student, humility is not simply a desirable personality trait, but requisite. When editing, it is infinitely more important to focus on what we do badly, and not on what we imagine we do well.