On his blog, James Harrington brings up a point that is really important: nothing we do is ever wasted if we learn from it.
I’ve been trying to instill this idea in my children for a while now. My daughter seems to be getting it, possibly through her work as a lighting tech for the theatre group I stage manage. The crew has joined me in encouraging her to try things and telling her that it’s alright if something doesn’t work – now you know, so try something else until you find out what does.
Last night, my mom was talking about wanting to learn to paint. I was proud to hear my daughter, who loves to paint, tell her to just do it – it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake, because if you don’t like it you can just paint over it.
Now if I can just get this through to her brother, and get them both to apply it to other areas of life. Success is defined by willingness to work for what you want and the ability to take failures in stride, learn from them, and keep moving forward.
Nothing anyone does with their own two hands is EVER a waste of time.
This is especially true when it comes to writing. Too often I have heard people write out a few chapters then look up, sigh, and say that they’re wasting their time. Their story makes no sense, the characters suck, and the progression isn’t… progressing.
That’s not a waste of time, as you’ve just discovered characters, a story, and progression that don’t work together. You didn’t waste time, you tried something and it didn’t work. I honestly think that if we looked at some of our failure stories like this more often, we’d be a lot happier. Who knows, maybe you can use those characters or that plot line later. There is no rule against recycling ideas in a story. If there was… I’d have a lot of answering to do.
P.S. I apologize for the lack…
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