What Is Juvenilia, And Why Would You Post It?

by E.V. Jacob on May 25, 2012

So, I just finished reading through Blind, and I swear I almost took the post down before anyone else had the chance to see it.

Not because it’s bad, because all things considered, it isn’t. It’s just that…well…OK, you have to understand that this story was written six years ago. When I was sixteen. I’ve written a lot, learned a lot, grown a lot…and it makes the old mistakes really stand out.

At the same time, it kind of excites me.

Think about it: Six years is a long time, but then again, it really isn’t. So, if I can grow and improve and learn so much in that time, it makes me really eager to see what the future might hold. What will the next six years do to my writing? I was (am) so proud of Forget-me-not – and now I am, oddly enough, looking forward to the day when I read that story, put my hands over my face, and go, “Oh, it’s so bad!”

Maybe I should rephrase that: I’m looking forward to the day when I look back on my 2012 writings and think, “Wow, I have improved so much since then.”

It’s the idea of growing as a writer – as a person – that really thrills me.

And that’s why I’ve decided to bite the bullet, swallow my pride, and post some juvenilia. It’s basically a collection of works from one’s youth that aren’t all that good and make the well-known, well-established, much-respected artist go, “Oh…yeah…that…I…I was…that was…don’t read that.”

(I realize I’m getting ahead of myself here by referring to it as “juvenilia,” seeing as everything I’m writing now will someday fall into that category, too, but it’s fun for me, so I’m going ahead with it.)

Anyway, so this is essentially just a fun exercise for me – a way to look back, see the errors, awkward sentences, poorly-phrased sentences, and other various little issues, and think, “Look! I’m doing better now!” If any of you would care to join in on the observations, please do – in fact, I encourage your participation. Try it, it’s fun :D

I am very open to constructive criticism, and don’t offend easily, so never hesitate when it comes to comments and opinions – I really value feedback from readers, and since learning what you’re doing wrong is the best way to learn how to do things right, I’ve come to accept, and even welcome, constructive criticism as a vital part of growth.

And that’s the story of Blind and why it’s up this week, instead of Becky’s gypsy story. Because I just kinda failed at getting it finished. So look for that next week.

Oh, and enjoy your three-day weekend!

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