It's time for the October ISWG hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh. This month members are required to choose from the topics of writing, publishing or marketing and post about one. Alex will then incorporate our essays into an anthology he's working on.
I've decided to post on the topic of writing. After I completed the first draft of my novel, I was so proud of my story that I wanted to share it with the world. I posted it on an online writer's site, expecting accolades. Instead, the reviewers shredded the piece. I soon learned that my plot had more holes than you'd find in a warehouse filled with Swiss Cheese. The characters were one-dimensional at best, and there were enough point-of-view shifts to give a reader whiplash.
Defeated and sad, I slinked away from the critiques vowing never to write again. A couple of months later, I saw new characters lurking behind every stranger's eyes. During that time, it occurred to me that I missed the craft. I was as lost as a ship at sea, without writing to keep my creative compass straight. Before diving in to the second draft of my novel, I purchased several "how to books," and read them from cover to cover. I attended workshops and practiced. About six months later, I began the revisions on my story. The reviews I received on the second draft were light years from the first. I've since written about twenty drafts and am in the final polishing stages (thank goodness). A couple of publishers have expressed interest in the book, and I'm presently waiting to hear back from them.
There are two things I've learned from my experience as a writer. First, never give up on yourself or the craft. Writing is a marathon not a sprint. It takes years to hone style and voice. Practice is key. Second, don't write for the sole reason of publishing. It's a competitive business. You're but a drop in a sea of writers. Even if you do get published, it will be difficult to eke out a living from the royalties. Essentially, the life of a true author is a calling, not a career. Write because you love it. Write because your will go crazy if you don't. If publication comes, great. If not, write-on. Until next time my friends, Happy writing.