Hello Mr gaiman. How old were you when you started writing stories ? I'm 14 and I try and try but they are all awful. I always give up in the middle and I can never finish what I wanted to write.
I know. I found a pile of papers of mine from my teen years and into my early twenties recently, and there were so many stories begun, so many first pages of novels never written. I’d start them, and then I’d give up because they weren’t as brilliant as Ursula K Le Guin, or Roger Zelazny, or Samuel R Delany, and anyway I wasn’t actually sure what happened next.
I was around 22 when I started finishing things. They weren’t actually very good, and they all sounded like other people, but the finishing was the important bit. I kept going. A dozen stories and a book, and then I sold one (it wasn’t very good, and I had to cut it from 8,000 words to 4,000 to sell it, but I sold it). I probably wrote another half-dozen stories over the next year, and sold three. But now they were starting to sound like me.
Think of it this way: if you wanted to become a juggler, or a painter, you wouldn’t start jugggling, drop something and give up because you couldn’t juggle broken bottles like Penn Jillette, or start a few paintings then give up because the thing in your head was better than what your hands were getting onto the paper. You carry on. You learn. You drop things. You learn about form and shape and shade and colour and how to draw hands without the fingers looking like noodles. You finish things, learn from what you got right and what you got wrong, and then you do the next thing.
And one day you realise you got good. It takes as long as it takes. So keep writing. And all you need to do right now is try to finish things.