A few years ago I decided to try my hand at crochet. I bought a yarn kit and followed YouTube videos to figure out how to make a blanket for my cousin’s new born daughter. I’m pretty sure I made errors in that, and other similar projects since but it was a hit with my cousin and even inspired her to do the same. More recently I decided to make a little something for my friend’s birthday.
First times are great. Mainly because you have no idea when you start just how challenging something will be at the outset so it’s all thriller, at least to begin with. This project was a lot of first times for me: first time following a complex pattern, first time using a small gauge yarn, first time using a small crochet hook, first time using stuffing. Let me tell you, this project has been a real pain in the butt. Working with such small yarn and tiny hook means minuscule stitches. I’ve dropped so many stitches, turned my hands into twisted claws from the fiddly working, I’ve had to unpick and start over and even thrown bits away and started over. I really bit off more than I could chew. However, now that it’s finished I’m thoroughly pleased with the result and I know my friend is going to love it. Things like this are so much more special when someone has gone to the trouble of making it themselves.
So what’s this got to do with writing?
Well, this project has been a success, but that’s only the case because I stuck with it. At times I’ve been so frustrated with it that I could easily have given up, thrown the damn thing in the bin and moved on. Had I done so I would have failed. Miserably. It’s the same with writing. The world is blanketed with the half written failed manuscripts of failed writers, but it’s also blanketed with the published works of novelists who refused to give up. Harry Potter was rejected a dozen times before being published and even then JK Rowling was told to get a day job since she wasn’t expected to make a lot of money with the book. Stephen King’s Carrie was rejected at least 30 times before being published.
As a writer, there’s a very strong chance that you’re not going to be JK Rowling or Stephen King. You may make a modest income from writing, make nothing at all from it, or you could become a multi-millionaire. Only one thing is guaranteed; if you stop trying I guarantee you will fail.
The same is pretty much true of any endeavour. The bottom line is if you still enjoy it, agai acts all of the adversity, if you still need to do it and still want to do it, do it anyway. Keep going, keep trying, improve, grow. Be persistent and maybe someday you can look at a finished project and think “yeah, that’s damn fine, and I made that.”