But if you’re just starting out, you probably really do suck. That’s not a bad thing. It just means there’s more to learn.
And to cap off today’s musings, a pocket sized, honest to goodness, true story.
“Put me in the intermediate class.” E said.
“Are you sure?” I replied. “You’ve only skated a couple times. Do you even know how to stop?”
“Yeah. It should be easy.”
“OK, if you say so…”
One class later.
“I was the worst guy out there! I couldn’t even keep up! Can they transfer me to the beginners class? I don’t even know how to stop.”
“I thought you said you did!”
“Yeah but only by grabbing the walls.”
Rejection. It’s something every writer has to come to terms with.
A folder of short story rejections lives in the back of my filing cabinet. At the moment there are only a few sheets in it, but I’m working on filling it up. Why? Because every rejection is something concrete. Like a hairline fracture or a battle scar, the rejections are a reminder that my mettle has been tested. More importantly, every rejection is proof that I’ve been writing.
Sure it hurts. I’d be lying if I told you it didn’t, but every time I get a rejection, I stop to think about what I need to improve for next time.
Then I eat some chocolate.
Then I get back to writing.
Honestly, if you learn from what you did wrong, then you haven’t really failed. If you refuse to give up, then you haven’t really failed.
Still there are days when I feel insecure and the writer’s blues linger. If you’re feeling down, I recommend watching this video. J.K. Rowling reminds the graduating class at Harvard of the benefits of failure. You’ll feel better after. I promise.
There are no rules. Some things you can only truly learn by doing, and writing is one of those things.
Form opinions. Try different methods for getting things done. If something doesn’t work for you, try something else. Keep trying until something sticks. Keep writing!
Still, there is some value to advice. Sometimes it can speed up the learning process. A single sentence or concept can force understanding to click, suddenly and permanently, into place – but that won’t happen until you start writing. So keep writing!
Oh, and don’t forget to set aside time to read. Now, please get back to writing. You’ve wasted enough time surfing the internet my dear.