I’ve heard people say it. They write a story. It doesn’t turn out as good as they hoped.
Or no market wants it. Or the anthology they wrote it for turned it down. Maybe they tried a genre outside their comfort zone and they didn’t quite nail it.
Then the next words from their lips are: what a waste of my time that was.
Stop right there!
Every word that you write, every paragraph, every scene, every story all contribute to you developing as a writer.
I have stories in my document folder that are going nowhere.
Damn, I wrote three entire novels before I discovered a voice that I felt comfortable with, before I figured out that it was about more than writing down the barest minimal words needed to tell a story, and before I figured out that some verbs are better than others and adverbs more often than not are sucky descriptors.
Sure, I also have short stories—some written to order, some written in experimentation, some just to vent my emotions on that particular day.
Most of my short stories will never be picked up—neither will my first three novels.
I know this. I accept this.
Because I view every single piece I have ever written—be it poetry, flash, shorts, or novels—as a stepping stone.
They are all stepping stones that got me to where I am now. Without writing the amount of words I have written, my writing may not have improved as it has in quality.
No, I’m not the best writer in the world. Who is? But when I look upon my journey as a writer, from word One to my latest word, I can see how much I’ve evolved, and that makes me proud of myself (in a non-conceited kind of way).
Accept them for what they are.
And then show them the respect they deserve by never deleting them—let them act as a reminder: they have moulded you into who you have become as a writer.
So … how many of you have written sucky stories you thought were a waste of time? And how many of you are willing to admit you were wrong and view them in the manner they should be?