Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Writing Stinkers

Writers have egos of crystal.  We love our stories, but even more than that, we want other people to love our stories.  The joy we get from bringing out the imagination of others is one of the biggest reasons we became writers.

Unfortunately, although we may all have great ideas, we often don't have the talent or experience to write them in a way that doesn't suck.  Sometimes this holds us back.  We get so caught up in not wanting to stink that we never write.

Get this point early in your writing career - you're going to stink.  You're going to suck out loud.  You'll look back in five, ten, fifteen years and cringe at what you put on paper...and that's okay.  Just like we missed the basket the first time we played basketball or ran the curb the first time we drove a car, we have to go through periods of being awful in order to get good.

Stephen King is one of the masters of the writing world, but even he admits he used to write garbage.  He got rejection letter after rejection letter.  Those stinkers he wrote, though, gave him experience that enabled him to write better and produce the wonderful works of fiction we read today.  None of us - and I do mean none of us - has so much natural talent that we can produce a masterpiece on our first go.  Even when we're writing and thinking we're great, the first time or two we will produce horrible stuff.  I've spoken before of my first full length novel and how bad it was(and trust me...it stunk to high heaven).  At the time, I thought it was wonderful, but years of experience have helped show me just how bad it truly was.

The thing is that I never would've gotten better if I'd not written it.  I learned so many lessons I didn't even realize at the time that it made me a better writer.  Only by doing bad can we figure out how to do good.  So write, even if you know what you're writing is awful.  Let others look at it, putting your ego in check so they can tell you how bad it is.  Being able to be objective about it will let you do better next time(I know, I know...being objective is easy to say and hard to do, but it's essential).  Remember, even Rocky had lots of losses before he beat Apollo Creed.

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