When Your First Tries Flop

I suck at firsts.

  • First song (a holiday card poem Weird Al’d into an old hymn)
  • First epic poem (anyone else remember Prodigy? Way back before AOL? Well, that’s where I posted it then promptly forgot my password.)

    First Forums!
  • First short story (Don’t get me started; children should not be blamed for their upbringing, after all)
  • First stab at a novel (“Never bring up the horny nun. It wins you NO points in life.”)


  • First full-length novel (molding in my nightstand so it can haunt me better)


  • First query (Seriously. Why did I think I was ready to hit send? *Wears official nametag of “Time Waster” for a month in shame*)


  • First critique group (I love you, Bud Humble, but I will not type that team name)


  • First time as an Ubergroup captain (Over-ambitious? Who me? I want to learn everything yesterday!!)


So now that my first attempt to revolutionize the beta swap process crashed and burned, I’m forcing my face into that scrunched-up squint scowl that’s supposed to mean “I’m determined to get this right,” because my second attempts, and those thereafter, well… Rewrites and revisions are what I do!


I’ll post next week what I mean and what my experiment with the beta process is all about. In the meantime, do you have an embarrassing first that drives you to improve? Tell me about it!



  1. Firsts are often flops, but someone once said you learn more from your failures than your successes. 🙂

    I look back now at some of my first attempts at writing and cringe…but at the same time, I’m so happy that I tried to write them, because writing them made me want to write more, and eventually my writing abilities developed (and are still developing today.)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Leslie Scott says:

    At my first writers conference (this summer) I managed to piss off a NYT list maker and hurt another one’s feelings, because I’m a complete smart-ass (who meant nothing wrong). My writer type firsts are usually pretty good, it’s the real life big mouth firsts that get me in all sorts of trouble.


    1. jrcreaden says:

      I have a character I think you could relate to, Leslie. Also, that sucks. I share your pain!


  3. I published my first book with a shoddy small publishing house, because they were the first “publisher” to give me the time of day. Still don’t have the rights back to that one…


    1. jrcreaden says:

      ouch!! Thank you for sharing!


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