Truth Thursday: The Horrors and Joys of Reading Your Old Stuff

Sometimes, I dig out pieces of my old writing. Usually, I instantly regret it, for obvious reasons. But there are things to be learned from burning out my own eyeballs with my own writing, which I will share.

  • I could dwell on how awful my writing used to be, how shallow my characters were and how flat everything sounded. Or I can compare it to how I write now, smile, laugh, and move on. Without writing like I did before, I would never be able to write like I do now. I finished writing 40 first drafts of novels, and it's my 40th novel that's getting published. So lesson is, try, try, and try again, and after using a fistful of pens, you'll probably get somewhere.
  • People's opinions are valuable. I grew most when I had feedback from people so I knew what I was doing wrong and what I needed to fix. Now I remember what people said, especially if multiple people said the same thing about the same piece, and make those mistakes much less often. It shows because my writing now flows so much better.

  • I am a different person than I was at 13. I've become more empathetic, more kind, more caring. I've learned so much more. My characters don't just enjoy what I enjoy, but a much larger variety of other life activities. It's taught me to relate to people I may not normally feel comfortable around, and to understand just a small glimpse of horrors I could never imagine going through myself. It has given me a renewed appreciation for people's strength.
  • Not everything is crap. There are primitive hints that I am aware of plot, characters, and flow. My writing style has emerged after years of work, and is still being refined all the time. What a wonderful craft to love!
  • I still have the same writing flaws as I used to, but I've gotten much better at not letting them show. I know where I am flawed and get people to help me when appropriate, clean it up myself as needed. It's proof that even though I have areas of weakness when it comes to writing, I've been able to overcome them.

This list can go on and on, but I think I'll stop it here for now. Look out for another Truth Thursday next week!

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