Not Everything We Write Is Gold, Ya Know…

Recently, I’ve been visiting Reddit. In some ways it feels like the last old-school forum out there.

My reasons are, admittedly, self-serving. Putting myself out there, hoping to get people interested in my comics and book reviews so they come visit my website… the kind of thing writers and cartoonists have to do.

One of the sub-Reddits there is focused on gaming, and I thought it would be a good place to use some of my old KODT articles.

The one I chose to start with, however, was a huge mistake.

See, one of my earliest RPG related articles was about getting your first gaming group together, and it was chock-full of silly cliches and stereotypes. I suppose it might have been tongue-in-cheek, but I don’t think it was completely intended that way. At best, it was a product of the time it was written.

Anyway, I got roasted for posting that (and rightly so) and quickly took it down. Even if I had provided the proper context, or played it off as a “boy, have times changed” reflection, I realized it really wasn’t worth posting, because it wasn’t any good.

See, that’s the mistake I think some writers make. They think that if they got something published, that it’s worth holding onto, that it’s got value. What they forget is that sometimes that value is to act as a warning to future-you about where you came from and how far you’ve come since then.

So today’s lesson is – not everything you write will be gold. Sometimes they are just pieces that help you along the way to where you are now (or in some cases, stumble along the way). The important thing to remember is that there’s always the NEXT piece.

I recently heard Stephen Colbert talk to David Letterman about hosting late night TV and at one point he compared it to a box of tissues. If the tissue you pull out tears, there’s always another one ready for you after that.

The same thing applies to writing, I think, especially if you’re writing articles to a deadline. If this one turns out to be bad, just focus on the next.

But hey, at least I got a One Shot comic out of this!

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