Every detour that you have to make, is never a wasted attempt in any form. The time you spent writing it will teach you lessons that you will go onto remember.
I certainly did remember everything. It was not the most useful of them all, it never made it past the first draft. But each time I gave up, I also had an idea why.
I understood a little more about the writing process. And each of those failures would eventually get me to become a better writer in its own way.
I won’t talk about all of them. But the few which really expanded me. A Maiden’s Ballad made me feel comfortable about works in a more historical setting and it was fine to use that as a basis and inspiration, Book Of Mystics gave me the feel that writing high fantasy was something that I was better at.
Finally, Hidden Within Dawn taught me to trust the ideas that I had within myself, and writing things that were truly me.
These things taught me a lot of stuff while I was writing them, they were failures, each in their own way. But they were lessons too, which I would go onto and bring into my current WIPs. Hidden Within Dawn did survive with it being the most like its original but there were a lot, a lot of changes.
But nothing is wasted. And when at your worst or most doubtful, just let yourself read a work from before. And compare it to now. Is it worse? Most likely yes, I had a good chuckle the first time, and then a little embarrassment. But also understanding that this was how I grew.
And you may never know when you might revive one of your old ideas. I did a couple of times, and learned that for me, picking ideas was more than that. It was about whether I was invested in the story, whether it had some really passion for me.
Or was it just because I read something similar lately? And that some of those ideas could be incorporated into an older idea to really explore it.
But most importantly was the words written. They did not make it, but I thought it was the real thing only to realize that it was just practice. But they were written, and despite how it is cast asid, never to be seen. We know full well that it existed or how it was earlier.
And such experience always counts.