Valerie Parv blogged the other day about 6 things she wished she’d known about being published. You can find that post here. It got me thinking. I’m soon to be published so I can’t outright steal her blog heading and add my own words (I could but I don’t actually really know how it feels to be published or the pitfalls, etc.)This is 5 things I wish I’d have known before I started writing... Well, this is the top five on the list, it goes on forever!
RWA – God, how I wish I’d known about RWA and SARA and all the other amazing writer’s groups out there in the wide world and on the www. When I look at how terrible my writing was at the beginning when I was going it alone to show the author of the book I’d just read that I could do better, I gasp! Yes, literally gasp at the awfulness. Over the years of attending monthly meeting and yearly conferences, having published authors around to answer questions when they came up, to have people who could honestly critique my work and tell me where I was going wrong. Wow! What a difference it makes. If you haven’t joined, are sitting on the fence or didn’t know, finish my blog post and then rush off and google to find a group near you.
Grammar and Punctuation – My recent revisions show me just how bloody bad I still am but I wish someone would have pulled me aside in High School and told me to stop mucking around and concentrate. Didn’t help that I had a teacher who gave out A’s for writing stories about cats. I learn more and more everyday but there’s still so much I don’t know. I nearly jumped for joy when I finally came to two pages in a row on my revisions that didn’t have any changes or marks. On the last two pages!
You are not alone – Writing is such an isolating job. I felt so alone and if it wasn’t for the support from my friends and my man, I would have given up long before I discovered RWA and Facebook. With the invention off Facebook and Twitter you are never, ever alone. If you have a question, want to rant or get stuck and need to talk out a scene, you can log in somewhere and someone will come to the party. I didn’t know this way back when either.
Ideas will wake you up in the middle of the night – You will never be without a pen and a pad ever! I thought it was bad enough being woken every few hours by the babies, try having an idea in your brain that feels like it is trying to manipulate your hand into picking up a pen. I can’t sleep without getting up and writing it down. Hence the notepad in every room, oodles of notes in my phone and scraps of paper with bits and pieces all over the house and car.
You need your own space! – had I known this particular gem, I would never have given our cubbyhouse a second look. Not only do I not have an office, I barely have a third of the dining table and a spare chair to balance my Flip Dictionary. If I want to get my sewing machine out, I have to unplug the computer which it like switching off my own life support. Then I war with myself over what I want to do versus what I should be doing. Like right now. I have a pinafore cut and pinned and I have revisions to do but here I sit tapping out a blog post while the man does the dishes I hadn’t got to yet...
Another reason why I stopped at five =)