Why I’m Ashamed of My Past Work and Why You Should Be of Your’s Too.
I spun my wheels and made excuses not to write.
My brain, filled with cleverly crafted alibis, If only I had cool experiences to write about. I really wish more ridiculous and ironic things happened to me.
And the classic.
I thought I might feel ashamed of what I wrote after time elapsed.
I thought I would look back and think, Wow, how naive was I for writing that?
I can’t believe I wrote that, that was astonishingly awful.
Then, I came to an epiphany.
Hell yes, I hope I’m reviled by my writing, my topics, my prose. I hope I think my writing sucks. I hope I may have come off as arrogant, goofy, or condescending. That would actually be awesome!
If I can’t look back at my writing and at least cringe a little bit or feel some form of, Really, I wrote that? I am not evolving as a writer.
I could sit here and stamp out letter by letter, safe topics with perfect grammar and a focus on perfection.
But, I am going to put work out into the world. The future me is more than welcome to laugh, cringe, or be a bit embarrassed or straight up ashamed of my past work.
Because, you know what? That means I’ve grown, I’ve progressed, I’ve evolved.
Think about your favorite band. Remember their garage band album that you picked up at the old record shop? You know the place, it was poorly lit and smelled like cheese.
That album was probably produced on a dusty old mixer in the frontman’s garage. The recording was from a single take and someone was slightly out of time. The production quality is lacking, the vocals aren’t polished, the lyrics are amateur, and the melody is very simplistic.
Do you think the artist cringes when he hears it?
Maybe, but it was a start, it was the best they could do at the time with the tools and knowledge they had.
Now they can record in high-end studios, with equipment that costs more than your house. They can use software programs to polish the last little imperfection from their voice or lay down a new track so every note of their guitar is blissful.
That’s their standard of quality now.
You need to give yourself a break.
Be ashamed, be embarrassed, realize that you’ve grown and be proud of your humble roots, your ideals, and your ability to evolve.
And take a piece of advice from one of the most prolific American authors of all time.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did…” -Mark Twain