Everyone should be able to remember the day they wrote their first story, or first song, etc. – the first time they dipped their toes in something they were sure they’d love and were right about their assumptions. The general thought is it’s a glorious time of inaugural satisfaction in the craft and you feel you can do no wrong when you put pen to paper. Simply put, that’s nothing but a fantasy! At least 99% of the time, the first thing anyone does on their path of pursuing their dreams is going to be downright awful. That first step can be soul-crushing or flat-out embarrassing. I had wished I was immune to this when I began writing in college 5 and a half years ago, but ultimately, I wasn’t.
Now, my first story wasn’t the first piece I ever wrote. The first piece I wrote was an idea for a Coca-Cola ad. Essentially, the premise of it was if you’re stopped by authorities for whatever reason, drinking Coke gives you the power to fend them off. There’s even a one-liner I don’t understand. I can fondly look back at how cheesy what I do understand of it is, but it’s a 2-page trainwreck. What came after was my first attempt at telling a story.
While I don’t remember the title I had chosen for it, the story followed a vampire hunter who wasn’t chasing down just any vampire, he was chasing a vampire he had been trying to kill for many years – his arch-nemesis, so to speak. The material was nothing more than a combination of ‘Van Helsing’ and ‘Buffy The Vampire Slayer’ with a hint of ‘Batman’. He had an overcoat and a crossbow similarly to that of Van Helsing, the fighting style and determination of Buffy and a hideout that resembled the Batcave, supplies and all. There’s only 2 scenes I can clearly recall: the hunter sitting by a window and watching the sun set so he can eradicate the vampire when it comes out of hiding and the vampire & hunter successfully killing each other during the final showdown.
In the end, the result of this work apparently didn’t turn out too badly, but I still consider it to be one of the worst pieces of work I’ve ever written. The fact that there was no dialogue was likely the saving grace of the mini project. Still, there didn’t seem to be an ounce of original thought gone into it, merely filled with a few elements I’d seen before with very little changed, if anything at all. But like with everything, your work progresses as you do yourself. You might hate your current quality of writing or whatever it is you do/trying to do yet if you don’t take that first step and produce that embarrassing beginning, awareness of your progress will likely elude you. That’s all I really wanted to say in this chill blog post: just get stuck in. Things won’t always be great at first. Don’t let it discourage you. Eventually, you’ll become the expert you’ve always wanted to be. Just keep going!