Every single piece of writing you create, even the non-creative work, is practice.

A journal, a letter to a friend, a blog post, a school paper, everything. It all counts.

Every writer has a large stack of unfinished work from when they were starting out. Work they despair over because it falls short. It's easy to look at that work and get discouraged. To assume that this work represents your potential and that you will never be good enough.

I have realized after twenty years of writing that our failures are valuable because they are practice. Beautiful, helpful, wonderful practice. Our bad writing teaches us our strengths and weaknesses so that we can improve. It isn't trash, because it's training. It's helping us get better.

Writing is learned through trial and error. Any time you feel excited about an idea, write it! If it gets finished, great! If it doesn't, that's fine. Because you can't learn unless you're willing to make mistakes.

So if you're feeling discouraged because your work doesn't look anything like what you saw in your head, remember that every sentence you write nudges you closer to where you want to be.