Monday, April 25, 2011

Jump in and get your feet wet and make mistakes like Edison

I like that picture of me and dad because we're actually getting along there. When I was choosing my major at the University of Pittsburgh, I didn't know what I wanted to study. Dad held mining engineers in high regard and thought there was a good future in the profession, so that's what I selected. I knew it was a mistake about two weeks after the first semester started, and when you combine that with my drinking and tail chasing, you can deduce the results without seeing the report cards.

After three drunken disastrous semesters, I dropped out for a year and came back as a psych major with a heavy load of English courses. I still drank and chased tails, but I did far better.

I've never regretted those first three semesters, not only because the drunken debauchery was tons of fun, but because it taught me what I didn't want to do with my life. Similarly, writers should never regret a year or two "wasted" writing something that doesn't pan out, maybe something in a genre they realize along the way they're not necessarily interested in. You always learn things along the way, even when it doesn't pan out, and end up with a cleared picture of what your skills and interests intersect.

p.s. I'm up to level 6 on the chess program, but I've lost 41 consecutive games with 2 draws at that level. I think I'm going to have to get myself smarterer to go to the next level.

p.p.s. Chapter 4 is done, and chapter 5 is going great. Should be done this week. I'm getting excited just getting that far. By the time I ge to the epilogue, I'll be whining and pissing on the rug like a dog that hasn't seen its master in a week. 


  1. Congrats on chapter 5 flowing! It's been so long since I wrote anything fresh, I worry it's gone. Whatever 'it' was to begin with. I can't wait until that blank page faces me again so I can find out.
    I think some of that 3 semesters of engineering stuck with you. The details in one of your WIPs, the construction of a spacecraft, was exceptional.

  2. You're right, no time spent writing is wasted. It might not end up in the story or the story might not end up seeing the light of day, but darn it, there's lots to learn and no better way to do it.