As the year draws to a close, I have been thinking about what I have learned. Here’s a list of things I have discovered (some funny, some not) about writing.
1. I write action scenes like a girl. I have a lot of work to do on my action scenes, but on the plus side, I also write my romantic scenes like a girl. (I consider this a plus, though you may not.)
2. Completing a novel is just the beginning. You would think that everything would be down hill after actually writing a novel, but the truth is, it is just the tip of the iceberg.
3. Network! Blogging, Twitter, all things social media: they all help in the journey. I have learned more from reading industry blogs than I can say. If you want to get an inside peek into publishing, then follow agent’s blogs and Twitter profiles. Blogging has also helped me find other authors in the same position that I am in, and it helps to swap tales.
4. My imagination is a wondrous world of … chaos and mayhem. Not everything is orderly up there. And it will take a lot of work to make it all make sense. But, I have now produced something that no one else could do, and it is something that I can call my own.
5. I cannot put off reading in order to write. I tried not to read during the entire month of November, and I thought I might die. Seriously, I can’t go without reading. I’ll just have to find a way to balance it all.
6. Writing by hand is painful. Literally. For me, I need a computer to really get my words on the “paper.” Some people like to write by hand. Not me.
7. Writing takes time. There is no instant gratification, but what I’m really getting at here is that you need to set aside time, otherwise you’ll never do it. Life will always get in the way. It’s been almost a month since I finished my rough draft, and I have only edited perhaps five pages because I haven’t set aside the time.
8. Show, don’t tell. This is easier said than done. But the final result is soooooo much better!
9. Practice doesn’t automatically make perfect, but it makes progression. I don’t think I will ever feel like I am finished with my book. And I know that I have more books to write. Nothing will be perfect, but it will get better.
10. Sometimes, word vomit is okay. I wouldn’t suggest you start querying agents right after you’ve completed your first draft. But it’s okay to get the words on the page, turn off your internal editor, and promise yourself to go back later. I never would have gotten to where I am at now if I let my biggest critic (myself) take control.
So there you have it. What have you learned this year?