Someone, whose name I can’t remember just now, once wrote about being a writer. He–or she–said that one needs to be prepared to discard the first million words that one writes. Why? Because the first million words will be crap.
I began going through some boxes of papers this week from when I was in junior high and high school. I even found some things from when I was in gradeschool, like a comic strip that I had done in fourth grade.
I wrote my first novel when I was a junior in high school and by the time I had graduated I had written a total of three novels and two plays. When I graduated from college, four years later, I had written an additional nine novels. All of those things are in the box.
In addition to the novels, there are dozens and dozens of short stories and some poetry. None of these materials have ever seen the light of day and none are likely to, either. To paraphrase Paul, I consider them all refuse. Certainly there is more than a million words there (given that the average length of those novels was about 150,000 words). So, I guess have paid the entrance fee required of aspiring writers, and then some. I can hope, therefore, that most of my words since then have perhaps not been so bad.