As I type now, late to updating for the day and passing up a more substantive post I could have done, I find myself wanting more than anything to respond to… a tweet. As minor as it might be in the grand cosmos, there was something about this tweet I saw a few days ago that stuck with me. And no, I won’t post that tweet here, because I’m not trying to start shit. But I did feel the need to address something it brought up.
There are a few truths about writers that we have to accept almost universally. The first is that we’re usually going to dislike our old work, it goes without saying, and anyone who doesn’t dislike their old work has often either stagnated or is impressed with the fact it was readable back then. It doesn’t mean you have to hate it, you just can’t look at it as positively as you once did anymore. When you look back at what you did years ago, it’ll always feel a little embarrassing because you’ll see the marks of your improvement and wish you could have written it today instead of before you knew better.
The second thing is that even our most successful individuals happen to have some problems. The number of writers who are high strung, alcoholic, or just “out there” is pretty high. Not everyone, mind you, but there’s always some little voice that doesn’t quite accept where they are. J.K. Rowling released books under a pseudonym for a while after her success because she wanted to prove it was her writing and not her fame that got her where she is. Considering she’s the first author to become a billionaire simply from writing in the history of writing, it takes some neuroses to question whether or not you earned it. Unique as she is, she’s far from alone there.
And, because of those two details, the third thing we have to accept is that we’re always going to need find ways to cope…. So let’s go ahead and not crap on anyone’s coping mechanisms, okay? Continue reading All You Have To Do Is Try