Since we must and do write each our own way, we may during actual writing get more lasting instruction not from another's work, whatever its blessings, however better it is than ours, but from our own poor scratched-over pages. For these we can hold up to life. That is, we are born with a mind and heart to hold each page up to, and to ask: is it valid?Eudora Welty
About This Quote
When he says "since we must and do write each our own way, we may during actual writing get more lasting instruction not from another's work, whatever its blessings, however better it is than ours, but from our own poor scratched-over pages. For these we can hold up to life," Virginia Woolf means that while it is true that you can get better instruction on writing style and technique by reading the work of others, this type of instruction often does not stick. When you publish your own work, people will see your mistakes and criticize you for them. If you take a look at a good writer’s work, you can see how much better they are at understanding what makes a story successful.
Source: On Writing
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