Writing is hard work, so is water skiing: it takes practice, it’s intense and you will probably fall. But if you water ski, no one assumes you do it professionally. No one asks a really brilliant water skier; how many times you’ve skied, or how many prizes you’ve won, or how many people paid yesterday to watch you.
If you are a good water skier, you can show off for the dozen or so other boat loads of observers and they applaud. Perhaps toss you a beer for your efforts.
Writing can be like that. Practice, make it yours, share a couple of newsletters or even just a brilliant Christmas letter, score free beer and get out of the water.
Consider, as you wrestle with a novel or poem or essay, that the work doesn’t need to be much more than the effort. It’s the doing that counts, it’s the magic of creation that matters. You can just water ski over the surface of a very deep lake and wave to the shore.
And call that effort, a good day.