“You have to be WILLING to write badly.”

It’s scrawled on the wall with Sharpie by my post-high school hand. This during a day when my Brother typewriter rested on a dilapidated desk which survived three brothers. Still survives to this day, though I dare not try resting in my laptop upon it. It stands on its last leg, no cliché intended. Recent high school graduate me saw these words in a different light. A writer who forces the craft churns out terrible passages. A writer needed to wait for inspiration. Needed the exact words before sitting in front of the screen and pounding the keys away. A writer needed to feel the words upon his fingertips. Anything else would just not do. Now ask me how much writing 18-year-old me did during those days.

“You have to be WILLING to write badly.”

You can’t fail in this life if you never try. You don’t give yourself the opportunity to win that way, either. Writers waiting for that moment of inspiration to write may never scribble a single creative sentence in their life. In my older age, the writing on the wall says something else. In order for someone to write badly, one needs to write. You must have that will in you to pour out your emotions and thoughts into whatever medium you choose.

Edgar Rice Burroughs said it best: “If you write one story, it may be bad; if you write a hundred, you have the odds in your favor.

It’s no different than the similar adage: “You must be willing to try to fail.” I based most of my adolescent life not writing because the moment wasn’t right. The inspiration wasn’t there. I spent most of my life standing on the sidelines because the field frightened me. Dear readers, I misled you. You were expecting a post about me growing as a writer. Instead you’re getting one about a man realizing how much time he’s wasted not knowing the answers.

You see, there’s this woman I like. I’ve liked her for some time now, though I only admitted to myself a month ago. I carried around this secret, letting it eat me alive. And I waited to own up to these feelings. I figured there was a time and place for sharing such things and they would present themselves. But every opportunity that opened proved only a nailed window.

So I told her via the worse medium possible—I sent her a text. Sure, I beat around the bush because, did I want to tell her this way? If you think about it, how did this differ from my adolescent approach? The only difference being that I received responses in a matter of seconds, not class periods.

And now she knows. And now I don’t have to carry it a secret anymore. Though, we haven’t spoken about it since. I guess we can’t win them all, and I don’t want to seem bothersome about it. I suppose a time and place will present themselves when she brings it up.

Dear readers, I’m afraid I mislead you again. This post isn’t about me growing as an adult attempting to put himself out in the romantic realm again. You see, there’s an idea growing in my head. And before it comes to fruition, I need a partner. I contacted an old college classmate, a creative writer, and told her what’s brewing in my mind.

I thought about this a lot. I mentioned it on the blog already. Several times on Tumblr. And now we’ll be working together on this venture because I trust her more than my other creative buddies (for good reason).

So I guess this post is about me learning that I can dream all I want; although, if I’m not willing to make that extra effort, dreams they’ll remain. And I gotta say, I might have been content with not knowing if I’ll succeed or fail when I was eighteen years old. But damnit, I have to know at thirty-two.

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