Life is hard; it’s harder if you’re stupid.   – John Wayne

So, I don’t know what the context was under which Wayne said this, or if he said it at all, but the truth of it is evident a dozen times each day. You don’t have to look much beyond the tip of your nose to see Wayne’s axiom played out in bold, brutal detail by people you know and by people you don’t.

But, when you are working to refine a craft, ignorance (if you’ll allow me to use this word as well) is the shoe lace, the missed step in the flight, the stubbed toe which leads to all manner of frustration, anger, cursing, and sometimes quitting.

It is hard work for accomplished, professional, highly skilled writers to write. And, when you are none of these things – when you have been at your craft for a couple of weeks or a couple of years – your empty head only makes matters worse.

So – buckle up, here comes the point – if you are trying to practice a craft, get some sort of an education. Don’t make life as hard as it can possibly be. Get hooked in to a good writers group (make sure it is one lead by someone for whom life is only hard, not harder), read some well respected instruction on the craft*, or go take a class at the local university. Take some decisive steps toward removing your ignorance and your risk of stupidity. Do something to make your life hard, not harder. Then proceed. Write every day. Know that you’ve done all you can.

*For recommendations see my 14 March 2012 posting. If you’ve read that one, read Lamott’s “Bird by Bird”.  If you’ve read that one go directly to the second to last sentence of this post. If you are doing that then point me to your blog so that I can learn from you.