Once upon a time, I had an idea I was sure would fail. I suppose, if we’re being technical about the circumstances, it eventually did.
Sixteen-year-old me thought it would be fun — maybe, in the back of her mind, also figured it might be professionally beneficial — to start a blog.
And four about six years, that blog was my side project, my dumping ground for ideas, rants, and the occasional updates on my life as a writer as I moved from high school to college, and then from college to the “real world.”
But I grew bored of constantly talking about myself. And I had a feeling a blog about me — let’s be honest, a nobody — wasn’t going to gain more traction than the 20-something followers it had miraculously gained.
So I flipped my blog’s concept. A total overhaul; a revamp. I took a hub of journal entries about my life as a writer and transformed it into a website about how to survive the writing life.
So in many ways, my first blog — which took me six years to build — is no more. I simply rebuilt it, learning from all my mistakes and shortcomings the first time. And that’s how Novelty Revisions was born.
I did not second-guess my decision to become a blogger all the way back in 2009. It sort of just … happened. I just thought “I’m going to start a blog” and sat down and made it happen. I wrote many blog posts that flopped, many I wish I’d never published. But I learned, and I grew, and I eventually built something pretty cool.
I didn’t think about it for a year, I didn’t keep myself up at night wondering if it was the right choice to make. I just did it. I just took a chance.
Maybe that’s how we should all approach our writing projects. Every single one, every single time.
Because I know there’s a project you’re thinking about starting right now. You’re asking yourself all the “what if” questions — what if it’s actually a terrible idea? What if I don’t enjoy it? What if I fail?
I think you should just go for it anyway.
Write that story. Start that blog. Submit that query letter.
You literally have nothing to lose. Because here’s the thing: Every moment you spend working on a project matters. Even if it “fails,” so to speak, there is always something to be learned from even the most unsuccessful experiences.
There are so many writers afraid of failing, of wasting time, of doing the wrong thing.
Well how do you know it’s going to be any of those things unless you TRY THEM?
How do you know something will fail if you don’t attempt to make it succeed?
How do you know something will be a waste of time until you put time into trying to make it worth it?
Some of the most important lessons I have learned as a writer, I learned through blogging. And then, because of my blog, I’m able to take what I have learned and pass it on to others. Not a waste of time at all. At least, I hope not.
That never would have happened if I wouldn’t have just taken a chance and tried. I’d have talked myself out of it if I’d waited. I’d have let the idea die.
But aren’t you glad I didn’t?
Just go for it. It’s the first — or next — step toward something pretty great.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.