I Know Nothing: Five Things I Do Know

I know I need to practice. There’s a reason I do the Terrible Minds challenges, but I also need to just start writing short stories (longer than the typical 1000-word flash), and I also need to learn the pace of the longer novella, and the endurance of the even longer novel. Lots of this stuff will be crap, but some of it will be crap with potential. That said….

I know I need to rewrite. I’m not one of those writers who can get something off pitch-perfect unless it’s less than 1000 words (and sometimes not even that). I think there are, actually, very few of those. I’ve seen too many people apparently piss away their early first drafts in onslaughts on agents and editors.

I know that I need to read. That the writer who stops reading, and reading widely, loses something valuable. That includes non-fiction and reading outside of the genres I normally write in. ((If I could be said to have a habit at this point.)) Books about writing go in the next point, actually…

I know that I need to learn from other writers. I said, a long time ago, that writing is an apprenticeship art. Whether it’s through workshops (unlikely!) or groups (unlikely!) or hard study on my own (already doing) and reading other writers’ screeds about writing (and taking the advice with a moderate amount of salt)… there’s a whole lot of experience out there to learn from, and I’d be foolish not to take advantage of it. And finally:

I know that publishing is not the end. Whether I get published professionally or if I publish myself, it’s not the pinnacle of my writing track. I need to keep growing, to go beyond, to not rest on my laurels.