Never Say Never

I’ve been writing for a lot of years. Way, way too many years (I’m old, folks). Sometimes it’s funny to look back on those years and reflect on the attitudes or ideas I had at any given time, and how that directed my work. I believe when you write, and stick to writing for a long time or maybe even your entire life, you’re always growing, learning, and evolving. New attitudes and ideas come along, your skills grow, and you try more new things than you ever imagined you would. It makes sense, because there’s very few creative and artistic people who stay stuck on one theme forever. You expand. You branch out. You give your ‘nevers’ a try.

I’ve had a lot of ‘nevers’ through the years. Things I said I would NEVER do. Things I would NEVER write, or try, or dabble in, or accomplish. Here’s a few of those things I said I would never do and then did them anyway:

  • Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Many times I said I would NEVER get published. Oh, how I languished, and despaired, and felt inadequate and overlooked. I’d never have a book published. No editor would ever want me. No one would ever read my brilliant masterpieces which were actually awful at the time. Well, check out the sidebar of my blog now.
  • I said I would NEVER write romance. This was back when I was younger and trying to be a horror author. Like way too many people, I dismissed romance as fluffy, silly writing that ‘wasn’t real,’ and was just trash and drivel. Never mind it’s the biggest-selling genre in books since…the dawn of time, possibly. I was young and full of myself and never seemed to realize I was constantly writing romance into my stories anyway.
  • At one point in my life I went through an intensely spiritual, religious phase and swore I would NEVER write horror again because it clashed with my moral point of view. I tried switching to sci-fi during this time and I was really, really bad at it. I don’t know what was going on with me, but eventually I moved on, or outgrew it, and got back to writing about vampires.
  • Hilariously, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group question for this month was about whether or not you’d ever gone back and rewritten an old piece of work. I said I hadn’t, and swore I NEVER would because I feel that looking forward is the best direction. Well, guess what I’m doing right this very moment? Revising an old story for an anthology call. D’oh!

NEVER is a block, a wall, a stone in the road that trips you up. It keeps doors closed and opportunities undiscovered. I’ve found that just because I have a writing ‘never’ today, it might be quite flexible tomorrow. And since I know I tend to dispose of those nevers eventually, I’m trying hard not to create them in the first place anymore.

What about you? What NEVER have you kicked aside and done anyway?

10 comments

  1. Oh man, I definitely relate to this post. As for one of my nevers… I remember very adamantly believing I would NEVER write any sort of erotic romance story (because I was, similarly, going through a very religious phase at that point in my life). Wellll turns out the next novel I have queued up for NaNoWriMo just happens to be of that genre (but with a fantastical twist because I never can seem to stray too far from home :D). It sure is fun to laugh at our past selves isn’t it? I can only wonder what “nevers” I’ll be laughing at 10 years from now…

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  2. It’s amazing to look back and realize how many NEVERs I said when I was younger such as I was never going to get married (I am), I would never not live in a house (I live on a boat) and I would never eat chocolate (Okay, that one’s a lie). Great post and good reminder never to say never cause you never do know…

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  3. I never thought I would have the nerve (or technical know-how) to self publish. Then the editor of the e-magazine that had published several of my short stories decided to quit and turn my stories back over to me. Suddenly, self-publishing seemed like a good plan.

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    1. Isn’t it amazing what we can do, the more we learn? I definitely had to learn a lot about self-publishing, and I’m still learning, but it’s another one of those things I NEVER thought I would do too.

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