Sunday, February 7, 2010
Blog Chain - Mistakes
This blog post brought to you by the number 4 and the letter "R".
Oh wait. Actually this blog post is brought to you care of Rebecca, who asks:
What is the best mistake you've made so far in your journey as a writer? How has that mistake helped you grow :)?
Wow, where do I begin? There have been so many mistakes I've made in this journey so far, sometimes they feel like they outweigh the successes. There's the whole "trying to do NaNo at the same time I'm trying to pass my last class in college". Yeah, that was a big mistake.
Then there's the "pay attention to what you choose to post here, because duh stupid, it's considered published." Yeah, that was a dumb mistake too.
Probably the best mistake I've ever made involved arrogance. When I first began this writing journey a year ago, I figured I could just plunge in and start writing. People had been telling me forever I could write, right? They must know what they're talking about. Oh, and I guess the fact that they are family and friends doesn't mean they're being less than objective, huh?
I figured out how much a mistake this was once I had someone with real talent critique my work. The big hammer came slamming down, and I realized just how much I have to learn. This was a hard lesson to learn too, because it was a huge blow to the ego. But it taught me something I should already be familiar with - humility. It's okay to believe in yourself, as long as you remain realistic.
I truly believe this mistake has given me the opportunity to become a better writer and not embarrass myself by querying something that is really not ready. It also prompted me to take some classes, so that I CAN become a better writer. I'm learning that altering the way I thought I should write is not necessarily a bad thing. It's not set in stone, and changing my ways doesn't mean I need to sacrifice my story - or my writer's voice.
This is a great question because it highlights something we should all know and accept. Mistakes are a good thing; they challenge us, put our feet to the figurative flames. And hopefully after we rub the pain from the burns, we can stand up once more and begin walking in a new and better direction.
Now head on over to Sandra (who preceded me) or put a note on your calendar for tomorrow so you can read Kat's response. Which may or may not be brought to you by the number 4 and letter "R".