Various writers are listing ten things they’ve learned about writing in their journals. My first thought upon seeing this was, I’m not actually sure I’ve learned all that much, really–as sartorias says, I’m still learning.
Still, here are some things I think I’ve figured out–all of them subject to change without notice:
- There’s no one way to write. Anyone who tells you so doesn’t know what they’re talking about. No harm in trying anything anyone suggests; but ditch it if it doesn’t work for you.
- There’s no such thing as a real writer. A real writer will always seem to be the person one step ahead of you, never you. No one’s ever going to send you that real writer certificate in the mail, either; best to just print it out yourself and be done with it.
- If you don’t work on having a life outside of writing, eventually you’ll have nothing left to write about. You’ll also be really depressed.
- You’ll be depressed as well if you let your self worth hinge on whether your latest project sells. Lots of perfectly worthwhile people never sell a word. You don’t have to sell to justify your existence.
- The reward for writing needs to be the writing itself, not from the stuff that goes with it.
- But don’t be stupid about the other stuff. Do the research. If you’re going to do this professionally, know what you’re doing.
- If you’re not doing this professionally, that’s all right, too. We all have things that are hobbies and things that are our professional work; and which is which is going to be different for everyone.
- Every book is different. Every book will demand new skills, some of which you maybe won’t have yet.
- Celebrate every victory, however small.
- Writing won’t be fun all the time. But if it isn’t fun at least some of the time, take a step back and figure out why. Because if you’re not having any fun at all, what’s the point? There are easier ways to be unhappy.