Yes, sorry for the provocative title, but it underlines an important milestone in my writing journey. Somehow, I doubt I’m unique.
In a couple of weeks time, it’ll be my fourth writing anniversary and so I thought I’d indulge myself in a little reminiscing. More a ‘note to self’ than a blog entry but, hey, if anyone finds a nugget of valuable knowledge here, all the better.
So I was talking about writing crap, which I spent two years doing. The problem was, I never knew it was crap and, indeed, I thought I would have literary agents fighting over me. Why didn’t anyone tell me I was woeful? Why didn’t they shake me and say ‘for the love of God, stop torturing us with this drivel!’ The thing is, many people did, but I didn’t listen, instead choosing the counsel of those who said what I wanted to hear. – It was another writer who finally managed to chisel away a lump off my delusional shell… Well, bugger me, he stuck his head in the hole he’d made and shouted ‘mate, you’re crap’… If he’d left it there, I’d have repaired the shell and carried on, but he persisted.
Eventually I listened.
I don’t regret those two years of writing vomit, as they gave me the opportunity to write stories without fear. – I churned out hundreds of thousands of words of awful offal, but the core stories were passable. Ideas to build on.
And, knowing I was rubbish, I learned patience. Writing is easy, but the journey requires stout shoes. I see many run out of patience before they’ve journeyed far enough, and I lament the books that will never be written as a result. There are very, very few people I have seen who lack the talent to write successfully, but many who lack the patience. -You have to write rubbish before you can write drivel. You have to write drivel before you can write insipid. You have to write insipid before you can write passable… I think you see where this is leading.
So, four years on, I write somewhere between insipid and passable, but I can see ‘good’ a little way up ahead. – I’ve held off the urge to self publish, as I’m still on the journey. Still patient.
As for you, well, I hope realising you were rubbish is a long way in the past and, if not, I pray you realise it soon so you can journey onwards.
And when you do realise, you’ll be amazed at how many helpful people there are out there.