MOST OF US TEND TO THINK OF CHURCHILL AS A WAR LEADER & POLITICIAN
I SUSPECT HE MAY BE UNDERESTIMATED AS A WRITER
"Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and the glory of the climb. ('Painting as a Pastime', the Strand Magazine, December 1921)" -Winston Churchill
I tend to react with interest to any and all quotes to do with writing—and have been particularly taken with the above. It conveys virtually exactly what I feel, though in an even more positive way.
When I write about writing, I notice I tend to emphasize the struggle aspect rather more—and I frequently remark that “we writers live with failure.”
This isn’t because I don’t feel as positive about writing as Churchill felt about painting, but more that I empathize with all who struggle to fill a page—and prefer not to gloss over the difficulties. People who struggle like to feel that their efforts, fears, and frustrations, are understood and appreciated.
We writers suffer, I’ll have you know—and should, of course, be admired accordingly! A vain plea since we mostly write alone and unseen—our efforts witnessed. Damn fools as we are, we even prefer it that way.
I also tend to add that, at least as far as I am concerned, I regard failure as a writer—by which I mean one’s failure to write quite as well as you would like (and not commercial failure) as more joyous than success in another field).
Generally speaking, you would think that success would be more satisfying than it is—and I have enjoyed a great deal of it at various times in various fields (as well as a more than an adequate share of failures) but the reality is that it is an ephemeral feeling—though invaluable as an incentive to try something even harder.
You would think, given the amount of time we writers invest in our craft, that we would get to know our limitations—and accept them.
I regard it as a particularly fine thing that we don’t.