Reading-Induced Laughter

When I was 14, I wrote a novel. And not an all-great American novel, or a heroic story of people surviving an apocalypse novel. It was a girly, frilly novel.

The other day I was looking through some of the documents on the laptop, seeing which ones I could delete and which ones I should keep. As I perused all my old English assignments and random GIFs, I noticed the novel I’d written at 14. My first reaction was to delete it, remove it completely from any memory and hard drive. My second reaction was to read it, which I did.

I will say this. I thank the heavens that I have taken several English classes since then. It’s not that it had any bad grammar or atrocious spelling mistakes. It was that it was poorly written, had no plot twist or climax, and I spent way too much time describing clothing and too little time describing important events. Plus, I had a bit too much fun making up IM screen names. 14-year-old me was a failure as a respectable novelist.

So, as I spent most of Saturday night and Sunday morning reading this utter bust of a novel, I laughed. Not because something I’d written was funny, but because if you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at? I remember spending morning and evening writing, trying to put all my thoughts about this girly catastrophe down. And now, as I read how lacking it actually was in real novel parts, I laugh at how atrocious it is, but in a good way, since I spent so much time on it. All in all, all it was was reading-induced laughter.

If you look at something from your past and think, “This is awful” the last thing you should do is throw it out. Then you are throwing away all the hard work that defined that period in your life. Dust it off and take it for a spin before you completely banish it to the waste basket.

Now that I’ve read this monstrosity of 14-year-old fantasy, I want to make it better. So, in my very limited free time, I’ve been working on rewriting it, making it into something that I can look back at and think, “Yeah, I wrote this. And it’s not half bad.”

What’s something you’ve looked back and thought, “What was I thinking?” Please comment below!

I hope you all have a super great week!

10 thoughts on “Reading-Induced Laughter

  1. I have lots of moments in my life where I can say “what was I thinking”? Teenage angst-driven love poems, mullet hair cuts, men’s platform shoes (a short-lived fad of the ’70’s). And you know what? I’m looking forward to a few more. They bring some fun and laughter into your life.

  2. I really hate reading anything I’ve written, because I always think it’s horrible. Not because of any teenage angst. Like, “this character is so pathetic.” I wonder what would happen if I revised one of my old stories.

    And I’m only fourteen (not even, I’m still thirteen, really) myself.

  3. I had about 4 books (A4 size) filled with poetry… the task was to fill every blank page by the end of the year. I had also started those when I was 14. They really were awful!

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