One of my very good friends called me courageous the other day for following my writing dream. She also asked me about how she could start down this path.
The answer I gave her was probably the most profound thing I’ve written about the writing experience. It tells me that perhaps I’ve learned something important and that I’m not as crazy as I think I am.
This is what I told her: writing crap is important.
I’m not joking, the most important things are the things people should not read or see or examine. The stuff that’s on your desktop that makes you cringe, that piece of awfulness, that is the most important thing you’ve written. Forget the stuff that got into a literary magazine or got published. That’s polished and nice and great but that couldn’t have happened without the crap you have hidden away like a red-headed step child.
Play and experimentation is important, especially with new writers or those trying to find their voice. You don’t know if what you’re thinking about writing until it’s on the page. It’s like any artist, there’s the painting or the song that just isn’t all that great but they kept going and viola! Art worth noticing.
It’s part of the journey for writers to fail. Failure is the the fuel to success. The more you fail, the better. It’s part of the evolution of you and your art.
So crap is good. Crap is needed. Crap will set you free. Crap, crap, crap.
Now go forth and write the worst thing you’ve ever written.
Icess Fernandez Rojas is a writer, blogger, teacher, and journalist for several years. Her commentary has appeared in The Guardian and on Huffington Post Latino Voices. Her fiction has been published in literary journals/anthologies such as Minvera Rising and Soul’s Road. Her first book, the beginning of the Jennie Manning series, will come out next year. In addition to writing, Icess teaches fiction writing classes. Want more on what it takes to be a writer? Sign up or contact her and ask a question.