Nearly every hero has an origin story of some kind. They always start from somewhere. Usually nowhere, but it’s still a start. Now, I know a lot of people don’t think that they’re heroes or even a sidekick, who also have origin stories. But, I am here to tell you that you do have an origin story.
In the first Kung Fu Panda, Po did so horribly in the training room that Master Shifu said he was at Level 0.
I know that Level 0 is quite intimidating because you’re at the absolute bottom, but have no fear. While it may be the bottom, that just means you’re a beginner. Everyone started there, including your favorite authors.
Level 0 is different for everyone. It might be some scribbles on a folded paper by a five year old, or it could be a seventeen year old typing a short story for the first time. No matter who you are, you will start at Level 0.
Now that you’ve passed Level 0 and moved on a bit, it’s time to level up. In video games, there are levels where you face tiny, easy villains that you can beat with a stick. The heroes in books typically have a simple quest to complete. Often it is to just go find one person or take a certain object to a special place (I’ll bet several stories just popped into your head). Each of these levels or small quests teaches the heroes a few more skills.
Like the heroes in the stories, you are learning a bit more about writing. Before you know it, you will be writing more and better than you could have ever dreamed.
However, like each of the heroes, it might take you longer than you’d like. That’s not a bad thing. In fact, by going at your own pace, no matter how fast or slow that is, you are becoming the best writer you can be. If you used the same speed as someone else, then you won’t be able to progress as you are supposed to. After all, Frodo Baggins didn’t sail with Long John Silver to Treasure Island.
Stories all have an ending. Some are closed and tie up all the loose ends with a nice bow, while others leave us with more questions than answers. Is there an end to your writing journey?
The long and short answer is…no. It doesn’t matter how long you write. Maybe it’s days, years, decades, but your journey will never be over. You will always be learning about every step of the writing process and your writing will constantly be evolving. That’s a good thing. Just like with life, you will always be learning.
There are going to be times when you think your writing is the best thing since sliced bread, and there will be times when you want to take whatever you’re writing on and chunk it out the window. It happens to the best of us. If it doesn’t, then something’s wrong.
Anyhow, enjoy the journey. It’s worth it.
What’s your journey like?