‘Sucking at Something’ is the First Step Before Being ‘Kind of Good’ at Something

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012|Advice, Guest posts|by JackClarkson

Today’s Blog post comes from Jack Clarkson who graduated with a degree in creative writing and is currently the CEO of unbored.co.uk a start-up website dedicated to retro cartoons, reviewing media truthfully and anything else that makes you chuckle. He writes about how it’s ok to suck at something.

When I left university several years ago I had to face the terrible truth that my writing was nowhere near as good as I hoped it to be. Every job asked that I already have several years of experience already, and nobody wanted to give me the experience either. I decided that if nobody was going to give me experience, I would make my own. So I started writing reviews of games, movies and books on my website while I looked for a job. I never set out to write anything earth-shattering, I just wanted to write stuff on a website even if my writing sucked too much to ever get paid for it.

Funny thing is, Malcolm Gladwell said that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at something. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outliers_(book)) Whether you study intensively for five years or spend fifty on your weekends it all adds up to the same amount in the end. I don’t think I passed much of that yet, but after a year of it I started to feel more comfortable writing reviews by breaking something down into relevant points and I noticed I started hitting the 600 word mark almost every time instinctively.

Now I’ve been offered several jobs writing professionally I still keep on writing for fun, because even if I still suck, I’m working on getting kind of good at it. I’ve got reviews down pat, so I’m starting to write fiction again because I feel like doing something I suck at until I get good at it. So if there’s something you like doing but feel you suck at… Do it more, because you never know when you might find that you’re actually kind of good at it!