Monday, December 28, 2009
1. Writing Is The Easy Part. I never thought I'd say this, especially after agonizing over characters, descriptions, passive voice, dialogue, tension, etc. for so long, but it's absolutely true. If you have characters and a setting you love and know well, the writing flows freely. Nothing quite like shutting yourself away for a few hours in a world of your own making. And after all that, you get the chance to shape your writing into something than someone other than you or a dear, patient friend or family member would find coherent, and actually want to read.
2. No Matter How Many Times You've Edited or Revised, You Will Always Miss Something. Whether it's a missing word, misspelled words, repeated words, or just plainly and simply, the wrong word, when another would be so much better, there's always something that needs just a little tweaking. Accept it, get over it, and fix it, before submitting.
3. Publishing Is The Hard Part. Getting the story, setting and characters that live only inside your head onto paper or the computer screen is great, but getting agents who believe in you and the story, editors to acquire your work and critics who love the book, too, is even better. But it's still hard, with smaller advances being offered and publishers hesitant to take on new writers while hoping their current stable of authors keep the revenue flowing, which led me to my next realization.
4. Publishing Is A Business. Don't Take It Personal. Repeat as needed: Publishers are in business to make money.
5. Writers' Conferences Are Invaluable. I've enjoyed every conference I've attended, simply because there's no better networking opportunity, with the chance to connect with top agents and editors, and fellow writers, sharing interests and goals.
6. Friends Are Even More Invaluable, Especially If They're Also Writers. And if they're writer friends in a critique group, who share your interests and provide comments and feedback you can rely on, WOO! In the lonely world of writing, a network of support is critical for celebrating successes, easing disappointments, encouraging goals, sustaining your sanity and keeping you grounded. Or, for when you just want to stop talking about the woes of writing for a while and hang out, have dinner and see a movie, or catch up on all the really important stuff you missed while you were glued to your writing. So, thank you to all my friends, the writers and non-writers, who've known all my quirks and faults, but still stick by me. Wishing all of you the best in 2010!
So, what did you learn this year?
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