Here is what Delia Ephron says about writing in her new book, Sister Mother Husband Dog:
Our job as writers, as we begin that journey, is to figure out what we can do. Only do what you can do. It’s a rule I live by. Among other things, it means I can have novels heavier on dialog than description. But more important, if you only do what you can do, you never have to worry that someone else is doing it. It keeps you from competing. It keeps you looking inside for what’s true rather than outside for what’s popular. Ideally. Your writing is your fingerprint.” She adds in the next paragraph, “It’s our job in life to come to some understanding of our own identity, and being a writer makes that easier.” (p. 13).
I read it on a beautiful morning, as I struggled with some of my own writing. “Only do what you can do” is a good writing mantra. Write to become yourself, not to imitate someone else.