Jan 22, 2010

Rule Of Thumb: It's Gotta Suck First

Jan 22, 2010
My single greatest struggle as a writer is a fear of failure.

For the longest time this fear stopped me from writing what I really wanted to write. I kept lying to myself, believing that as long as I never actually put it to the page then I could never be disappointed in myself. As long as I never tried I couldn't fail.

That's when I learned the most important thing I feel a writer can ever learn. We suck.

Yes, that's my rather unoriginal point. Like all human beings we screw up way more than we ever succeed, and the only thing that's gonna decrease the number of times we screw up (which never stops being a lot) is to learn. If we don't write a pile of crap we'll never write a mountain of gold.

All the most valuable things I've learned as a writer, and I really mean all, was from trying my hardest and utterly failing. It's like poison to the ego, but it was what I needed. Because it was only then that I could see my weaknesses as a writer and work to smooth them out.

Mutt is always watching time-lapse videos of people painting awesome artwork and a few weeks ago he made a really cool observation. The greatest artworks always look terrible at the beginning, but slowly grow into something incredible. The less impressive and forgettable works usually play it safe the whole way through, never daring to chance looking disappointing.

An obvious point, I know, but sometimes it's the things right in front of our faces that we need to be reminded of the most.

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