I've had many uninspiring firsts in my life.

I wrote my first song in 8th grade. I slapped together three power chords and showed it to a friend who told me it sucked. We're not friends anymore.

I wrote my first novel when I was in 7th grade. It was a spy novel about a shadowy organization that produced a globally destructive bomb called LifeStop. It spanned 97 full pages in my spiral-bound notebook that doubled as a place to keep notes from Science class. (Honestly, I'm not embarrassed. It's to this day the most complete piece of fiction I've ever written.)

The first time I tried to kiss my college girlfriend, she pulled away; you might even say she recoiled.

In all cases above, that first endeavor resulted in steaming garbage. But we're not supposed to get it right the first time. Thirteen years later, I still write music, and I've produced a lot of work that I'm proud of.

I kept filling my notebook with fiction throughout my high school years. I eventually found my voice and learned to entertain my classmates with my goofy stories.

I later went in for another kiss and, well, we're married now.

First failures are the bedrock for future successes.

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