Wednesday, April 23, 2014

What I Wish I Knew When I Started – Part 2

I just want to start by saying thank you for everyone who commented with advice that they would give new writers!  I learned a lot from all of you.  For those of you who missed that post, the link is right here.

I keep thinking about where I was when I first started this journey, and all of the things that I had to learn.  Here’s a continuation of the list that I started last week.

4. Your writing isn’t as perfect as you think.

This was incredibly hard for me to learn.  The first time I got a critique, (and when I say critique, I mean an honest critique) I cried.  It made me realize that all that work and effort I’d put into it wasn’t enough.  There was still so much that was missing, so many mistakes I didn’t know I’d made.  It took me quite a while to finally accept the advice and criticism that was given.  Once I finally did that, my writing improved exponentially.

And along those lines…

5. Get someone else to read your writing. 

And by that, I don’t mean just your mom or sisters.  (Though I love that they’re willing to do that.  I love you guys!)  My family is great at reading and giving advice, feedback, but having other writers reading your work gives a completely different perspective.  Find people who know what you’re going through and who are working toward the same goals, people who know how hard it is to put words together on a page.  Finding a good network is one of the best things you can do for your writing.

6. Don’t give up.

Writing is a painful hobby.  A lot of people don’t really realize that until they start.  It’s a process that takes a lot more work than it appears.  Creating something that’s so personal and then having it torn apart again and again can really damage the ego.  (Not saying that’s always a bad thing.)  But it can also be depressing, especially once you start focusing on all the negative.  Don’t give up.  Keep trying.  At some point, you’re going to read something you’ve written and think, “Wow, this isn’t half bad.”  Just work toward that moment.

The learning never stops.  And I’m sure that in another year or so, I’ll have even more advice for past me.