Can you ever be sure

From Elizabeth Gilbert's Instagram this morning: "I had hardly begun to read - I asked how can you ever be sure that what you write is really any good at all, and he said - you can't

you can't - you can never be sure - you die without knowing

whether anything you wrote was any good - if you have to be sure - don't write"

These are the final stanzas to a poem that William S. Merwin wrote about the poet John Berryman — about advice that Berryman had given him when he was a young writer.

Take in these words, dear writers — wherever you are just starting out, or whether you’re on your 15th book. You will never know if what you are writing is any good. That can never even be the question. You have to find another reason to do this work. (I would suggest a blend of passion, curiosity and reverence. Anything but “I need it to be good.” Just keep going.) Onward. ❤️ (LG) Elizabeth Gilbert Painting by Strino Gianni.

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