As such, water is a precious commodity. Right?
|broken sprinkler this morning|
You'd think they would carefully guard all of their water lines. No sprinkler would remain busted, etc. etc.
|same busted sprinkler last week|
In fact you'd think that in a place where it rains less than ten inches in a year, they'd be awfully miffed about water loss.
|same sprinkler busted three weeks ago|
And yet, here in Albuquerque, there's a broken sprinkler head I pass on my way to work practically every day.
Writers are like this too. Well, to be fair everyone is, but in general, those who can least afford to do so are always the ones doing it. It's like those PayDay loans at 30%, cause that'll help someone out financially. And yet they are everywhere. I never see rich people using those...
Writers go through a long period of time finding their voice and making their craft work. It's one of the hardest times in a writers life (oh wait. Nope, it's ALL HARD) because they are so riddled with insecurity. It's similar to being a teenager again. Am I any good? Will anyone ever love me/my work?
The problem with this attitude is that no one gives out acknowledgement in the early days. If you're writing and you're looking for outside validation, it's a long ways off. What writers need to be doing in the early days is fearlessly writing and experimenting; exploring the ways words can be tied to together to find that magical place where their voice shines through the muck of homonym failure.
But most early writers stick to the tried and true. They write stories that are common. We say our stories are different, but trust me, there really are only seven plots. Once you know them, everything else is just a twist. So yes, your early stories are not as unique as you want.
But in the early days, you are more afraid. You follow rules and you hunt down advice from all the experts. I hate to say it, but there's a tiny percent of people who are talented enough to really write well straight out of the gates (and often they've had a lot of other writing training that they just didn't recognize) so a lot of us spend a lot of time turning our wheels in the place where we aren't that good but we want to be awesome.
We usually dream about publishing and agents and contracts, and--I know telling people not to do it is ridiculous, but the craft of writing is only learned through excruciating trial and error. And until you've experimented--say eff-you to publishing and write the book you NEED--you'll never find your voice. There's a reason it takes years to hone craft and learn to write. It's because it's hard. But it takes longer if you only go the safe route, telling the safe stories.
You need to fly. But until you jump off the cliff, how do you know if you'll fly or fall?
Failure is part of the game. Hey, I have failed books, ideas that crashed and burned. I have a trunk of fan fic that will NEVER see the light of day. I have poems and blog posts, song lyrics, novels, novellas, short stories, you name it. And I have flash fiction for contests and fun. I've written stories in 35 words because that was the challenge.
In short, write everything. You wouldn't go to a store and try on the first dress you saw for prom? What if it didn't fit right? or clashed with your skin? What if it poked you in all the wrong places? Or you were allergic to the fabric (this is starting to be a real problem for me, as it turns out)?
So go out into the world and write everything. You have no time to hesitate about the what and the who. You cannot afford to be paralyzed by fear. I get it, fear is hard to conquer (I'm a coward, FYI). There are no fearless people, but there are people who can swallow their fear and jump despite the shaking knees.