I’ve been writing as a hobby for a good seventeen years now and I’ve written so many drafts and different stories across different genres.
I’ve written words beyond what I can count and whenever I go back over any of my previous projects including my current one, I either laugh out loud out or gagged or both or react another way along the lines of disgust and think to myself…
Did I really write this?
Afterwards I’d tell myself that they would never, ever, see the light of day because of how bad they are.
Maybe if the writing deities bless me with a bit of talent, so that with a lot of polishing, I can probably, hopefully, used these past writings to crank out a decent story in the future. Otherwise what was the point of all those hours pouring words onto paper?
Okay, real talk here.
What if the writing deities did and continue to gloss over me for another more talented writer? Do I really think I wasted my time, my efforts, on all the things I wrote over the years?
Writing is a skill.
We’re not able to write the moment we’re born. We learn through the years from our parents, from our siblings, from our teachers or from whoever taught you.
It just doesn’t happen out of nowhere and like with any skill, no matter how talented you are, to become good at something you’ve got to practice.
I was never a good writer in the beginning and despite that I’m okay now, I could definitely improve in a lot of areas. I could be better, maybe even amazing. However for me to reach that pinnacle, I needed and still need to practice.
I could read all the books and watch all the videos on the art of writing, but those will probably mean nothing if I didn’t put in the time to actually, you know, write.
All those years of putting pen to paper or typing away at my laptop, the good, the bad and the ugly were a part of my life that I look back on with fondness. A feeling of achievement and gratitude.
Writing across multiple genres had taught me what story tropes I liked, what I hated, what my strengths were, what I needed to work on. It all contributed to helping me sand off the edges of my suckiness.
And as I mentioned earlier in this post, with a lot of polishing, maybe I can use bits and pieces of my old projects and add it to the one I’m writing now. A character I cherish, a scene I adore, a dialogue I love or maybe I won’t use them at all.
Some writers may do this, some may not and that’s more than okay. I’m always a believer in doing what works for you, practicing the way you find the most effective because in the end, we’re all built differently.
My point though is that even if some of my projects never see the light of day, I believe that all those years that I wrote is never wasted because it’s made me the writer I am today.
So look back on those old projects with a fondness because even if you don’t share them with the world, it all adds up to sharpening your skill.
Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I’d like to mention that what I write about is simply a reflection of my own personal experiences.
By sharing my thoughts about the things that have motivated and inspired me as well as the people in my life, I’m hoping I could motivate and inspire others.
I’m aware that everyone’s situation is different and if what you are doing works for you, I’m really glad. Please continue doing what you’re doing.
Photo Credit: Julia Joppien on Unsplash
2 thoughts on “Writing Through The Years – Nothing Doesn’t Have To Be Wasted”
I believe it’s extremely important for writers to save all of their work… even if it’s embarrassingly bad! By revisiting old works, we reinforce our new skills and get an opportunity to see just how far we’ve come. I’ve even come up with new ideas after seeing stuff that I originally considered worthless.
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I completely agree Darius. It’s always a good feeling for me when new and old stuff come together.
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