Sucking is learning

Today I want to share with you my first three attempts at novels and how sucking is normal to learning.

The first book I wrote was in the 3rd grade. It was a Fantasy book about a blonde guy who’s the prince of his kingdom. His kingdom was being threatened by a dragon so he went into this cave to slay the dragon. I even illustrated it. I drew the prince holding up the head of the dragon. I don’t even know how that was allowed. In the end, he gets married to a princess who comes out to congratulate the prince for his victory and falls head over heels for him at first sight. Yeah…Not bad for a 3rd grader.

The second book I attempted was in the 7th grade. Another Fantasy novel I never finished. This one was titled “Final Fantasy Forever” and it involved a ragtag of heroes who were lumped together after unfortunate circumstances with dragons (hey, I thought All Writers Must Write About Dragons back in the day). They had to go find different types of dragons to go and fight these evil dragons off to save mankind. I got 20 pages into this novel before I dropped it. I spent the majority of my time drawing maps and drawing the characters out and writing up bios and all this excess shit that I didn’t need to do but thought I JUST HAD TO DO because it was the thing writers do. I thought that was the way it worked.

I got distracted by teenage angst, reading the classics of Plato and Socrates and taking care of my mom full time to do any other novel attempts in high school. I did write a stack of songs and short stories. Most of them steaming piles of failure but it was practice. The point is that I wrote. I wrote constantly and I wasn’t even aware of how much I was writing back then.

Then I met a real writer in person. I just started college about that time. I went online and learned all I could about writing. And I learned I didn’t have to do all that shit if I didn’t want to.

So I tried again at writing a novel. The third book I wrote was a Historical Fiction novel set during the crusades in Jerusalem. It was action-y, it had stealthy assassins and IKEA worded gay sex in it. YEAH! This was my first “real” attempt at a novel which was filled to the brim with purple prose and bullshit. I kept writing it even though I had no idea what I was doing. I wrote with all my might and I FINISHED IT. I was so proud of my work and so scared to read it. It sits in a dark corner, unedited and unloved on a USB drive.

Everybody starts out writing shit. Its going to suck. But don’t be afraid of the suck. Treat it like a friend, embrace it, learn from your suckage. Then keep practicing and keep at it. One day you’ll look up from your hard work and notice your friend, the suck has disappeared.

This can be applied to not just writing but writing music, fuck, even studying Japanese. It all revolves around the same principles of study and practice hard. Keep doing it. Keep learning more, keep adapting until you find something that works for you.

So, whatever you want to do, don’t be held back because you think you suck. Believe me, all of us writers here think we suck. Including myself. I suck hard. Unless they’re that special kind of writer or creative individual. In which case, I suggest you avoid them like the plague.

Anyways, I’ve got a zombie novel to get back to and it won’t write itself. INTERNET, a year ago I hated zombies with a passion. Now I love them.

 

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