Thursday, December 30, 2010

What I've Learned - A Look Back on 2010

Usually I post a What I've Learned post on Thursdays, but since I haven't really been reading at craft related books, I thought this would be an appropriate time to look back on things I've learned in my own writing, from others, and from reading.

  • Don't be afraid to write a scene. Even if you're not sure it will work, write it anyway. At the very least, you may get some insight to your characters. And I know this sounds crazy, but maybe this idea will work and fit perfectly into your manuscript. Just write it. You can always delete it later.
  • Taking a long writing break is a bad idea. It's much harder to get back into a project once I leave it for a long time. This is especially true for me with revising. If I'm working on Chapter 4, and I haven't been working for the past few days, I spend a lot of time reviewing Chapters 1 through 3 to get me back on track.
  • Writers need support. Writing is a lonely activity. If we all stayed holed up in our writing caves and never talked to one another, we'd probably all go crazy (if we're not already!).
  • Published authors are your friends. Don't be scared to go to a signing of an author you like. I went to two signings this year and both times I learned a lot from the authors. It's nice to hear how everything didn't just fall right into their laps. They had to struggle, too!
  • Don't be afraid to show your work to someone you trust. I kept my WIP to myself for way too long, and it resulted in a lot of re-writes that I might have avoided if I just let someone read it. Earlier this month I sent a few chapters to a member of my writing group and she gave me some awesome feedback. It really boosted my confidence, and made me wonder why I didn't do it sooner.
What have you learned in 2010?

  • Sending Your Baby Into the World
  • Rachel Cohn and David Levithan signing
  • My writing groups

    1. I learned that hard work will get you where you want to go! :)

    2. Writers definitely need support! That's one I learned this year too...completely agree!