Fred Astaire is known for his drive for a flawless performance. If he made a mistake, he would start over from the beginning. If one detail was wrong, he’d redo the entire dance. Maybe this was carrying perfectionism a little too far, but the result of that perfectionism we see in his films is marvelous to watch. No one can dance like Fred Astaire because he took the time to go back and correct his mistakes, rehearse the number repeatedly, and well, let’s face it, he had the talent. But here’s the thing about talent: you have to hone it, train it, and practice like mad to turn it into a skill and something beautiful. And that’s what Fred Astaire did.
As writers we all strive to improve our writing. We read the great classics of literature, the ones that have stood the test of time, and we write. Writing is different than dance, true— writers create art with words, while dancers use their bodies. But some of the principles are the same. Dancers train and rehearse. Writers write multiple drafts, edit, and polish them until they are satisfied with the results. This writing process basically equates to the dancer’s training and rehearsals. We both keep at it until we’ve perfected our art to the high level we want it to be.
So, what can Fred Astaire teach us left-footed writers? Don’t give up and keep writing until you get it write. Pun intended.