What would I have told my newbie writer self four years ago…
About four years ago I thought, what the hey, I’ll write that book I’ve been dreaming about. And I did. Yeah me!
But it wasn’t that simple.
I toiled with the idea of writing a book for years. I put it off. Got married. Had kids. Dropped out of college - three times. Then one day I decided I was going to take a break from cooking, my day job, school, housework….and sit and read. I had always loved to read but I barely had time to shower let alone sit and enjoy a book. But I decided I had to make time. I needed the comfort books had always brought me. I started reading what was being called Young Adult – because that was what my daughter was reading. I wanted to be a responsible parent and monitor what she read. But I ended up liking it myself. I was hooked and couldn’t stop reading these books about these kids doing all this interesting things.
Then one day, I sat down and wrote out a recurring scene from a story that had been in my head for years. I let my oldest daughter read it. I didn’t tell her I had written the piece – I wanted her honest opinion. She loved it and wanted to read the entire story. But that was it I told her. “And I wrote it,” I triumphantly announced.
This was my first realization that I could actually write a novel. A whole, real, full length, novel. I was thrilled. And revving to go. I wrote that first story so fast I barely had time to breath. I was so proud of myself. I was so going to be famous for the wonderful story I had written. I quickly let my daughter, then in the 7th grade, read what I had written. She loved the entire story. I was on my way – I even had a fan.
Let’s stop the story here…I think everyone can kinda see where this is going. It’s almost comical now. Almost. I also think it’s a bit sad. I had so much to learn. So what would I have said to myself four years ago had I the knowledge:
Read and Write. Then write more.
That’s it. That is what I would have said to myself or any other newbie writer. Without patience, perfecting your work is impossible. Without patience, the revision process becomes a joke. Without patience, you don’t make your manuscript shine, you bring yourself to shame.
Why read? Reading what you write and what you don’t write offers many opportunities to learn from those published authors. Just like a student needs to study for a test, a writer must study also. A writer studies the craft of writing. Not simply getting the story down but arranging the words and actions of the characters so that the audience will not want to put the book down.
Why write and write more. With anything, and everything in life ‘practice makes perfect.’ I can’t say how true this statement is. I have seen a drastic change in the manner in which I write. I was so serious about my craft that I decided to finish school this time *insert huge grin here* and I majored in English. Oh, the many papers I wrote that had nothing to do with kids with supernatural ability, or teenage angst over their first loves. But the lessons I learned were invaluable. I wrote short stories, poems, anything – not to have them published but to practice. To get better. And I did. And this time, it wasn’t my daughter who told me she loved my story…but that’s another post entirely.
What advice would you give your newbie writer self?
Have a great day. Read a gook and laugh!
Follow this blog with bloglovin'