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Never be Afraid to Write a Bad Piece


Never be afraid to write a bad piece.

I was 19 when I heard these words, spoken by my freshman composition professor, Charles Nichols.

I was in the early stages of learning composition – feeling completely overwhelmed by collegiate academic composition, while barely grasping theory and harmony myself.

I remember feeling so nervous my hands would go numb. Whenever I shared my sketches in comp 1 I would shake as I handed over my sheet to be played for the class and critiqued.

Back then, I let the criticism roast me alive, but I’ve since grown and learned to grow from it. And if you need any help with this – I’m here for you.

Peeking back through my memories I’ve noticed there were some nuggets of wisdom in those days – and this is one of my favorites.

Writing or creating is such a powerful experience that I think we should all be proud of ourselves when we find the courage to do it. While technique and expression of your vision can be refined, the act itself is absolutely beautiful and something I believe we can use more of in our lives. I personally love seeing what my friends and family and colleagues create. While it might not always be something that radiates with me, I know I’m better off for being in the presence of it.

So I share this wisdom with you. Please remember when you start to hate the piece your working on –

“To never be afraid to write a bad piece. We are all better off in the presence of your art and in the light of your being.”

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