Dare to Suck

Hola my friends! 
(Currently playing on my iPod: Patterns by Band of Skulls) 

Today I want to talk about starting a new project, whether that new project be an essay, a short story, a novel, or heck even something non-writing related. 
When I lived on my own in Italy for three months I discovered that when you get down to it the scariest thing about starting something new is the fear of failure and rejection. You can find this epiphany of mine here: http://amandastudiesinflorence.blogspot.com/2011/09/on-my-own-now.html

But the simple fact is: If we don't fail we don't learn and thus don't improve.
Don't freak out at the brilliance of this statement because it really isn't a novel idea, however, it is not something that people live by or even seem to consider at times. At least this is what I've observed of the world so far. It's definitely something I have to keep reminding myself of. 

One of the biggest gifts I received from the dark days (back surgery years) was being able to go with the flow of life and not fight so much, but rather create, and for that I am extremely grateful for. Being held back for five years of your life makes you a fighter, it makes you want to achieve your goals that much more. And because of that I take a lot of chances because I want so much for my life and if I don't try... well, duh, I won't get anything. 

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."~Wayne Gretzky 
~Michael Scott 

Now, I just finished a major editing round on my first novel and I am extremely proud of it. I can't wait to hear what my friends and family think of it. With that done now and currently being read by my fellow critique partners I am on to something new... and starting a new project is always a little scary, mainly because I know that the first draft isn't going to start off amazing. 

But Amanda, my dear, you must remember that in order to get to the final draft you gotta write that unecessarily-dreaded first draft. And yes it's going to suck at first, but that's okay. What the world fails to tell us is that: It's okay to suck. The media puts so much emphasis on the glory of winning and how epically-awful and humiliating it is to fail and be labeled as a loser. I remember for the longest time I refused to raise my hand in class because of the looks I got from teachers when I failed to answer a question correctly. It stopped me from trying to answer them at all. But, honestly, how does that help a kid learn?

We need to change our way of thinking. We need to focus on the trying and failing and ESPECIALLY the getting back up again. 

Grandpa from my all-time favorite film EVER "Little Miss Sunshine" couldn't have said it any better: A real loser is someone who's so afraid of not winning he doesn't even try. 

Here is what I'm telling you: Dare to suck. 

And this goes with anything you write... 

Someone once told me: There is no such thing as a good writer, but rather a good rewriter. 

That's the key. You must realize this in order to let your fears go and get that pen to the paper or those fingers to the keys. 

One of my favorite writing tips comes from one of my all-time favorite authors, Jodi Picoult, who's mantra when producing a novel is: I can edit a bad page, but I can't edit a blank page. 

So, now here it goes. I am starting a new novel as I continue striving to get my first one published. I have come ridiculously close to getting an agent and I'm still going to fight for one, but while I do that I need to get working on something new. That's what you have to do in life. 

If you haven't read "I, Robot" by Isaac Asimov, you really should. I LOVED it. I also wrote this fabulous quote by him on a notecard and taped it to my wall above my computer which reads: You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you're working on another one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success--but only if you persist.

So, yes, I'm starting a new novel tonight that is both new and completely different than my last book. I am super duper excited to get working on it, but, at the same time, I am also terrified, but that's okay. It's okay because I already know it's going to suck...

I hope this made sense.
Blog to you later! 


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