Before I get to the blog chain question, I need to tell you about the contest you better not miss out on. The incredibly talented Alex Cavanaugh's book CassaStar is being given away in what has to be the awesomest-named (yeah, not a word but too bad) contest ever. It's called The CassaStar "Pew Pew" Space Adventure Giveaway. How cool is that name? It's being hosted on the Scribbler To Scribe site, and you only have until the 19th to get in on it.
It's CassaStar, for crying out loud. And Alex is going to sign it! Does it get any better than that? Get over there and enter right now. I'll wait.
Okay, now that you're all signed up for the contest, I can proceed with answering the question posed by the ever-awesome Laura Diamond (yeah, how cool to have THAT last name):
Regarding your writing career, what’s the best mistake you’ve ever made and why?
I didn't have to think long and hard to answer this question, because the answer stares me in the face every day, reminding me what NOT to do. When I first started this journey as a writer, I had a great story idea about a homeless woman and a guy that decides to help her. My wife, my parents, and my friends were always telling me I should write something, and so that's what I did. I sat down and started cranking out the pages. Man, I was a writing whiz and the words were flowing effortlessly. Okay, maybe not that easily, but I was making alot of progress and wrote almost the entire first draft.
I was flying high. I'd written more words on this one project than I'd ever done before. And all these people were saying how great a writer I would be. So when a real writer friend offered to beta the story and give me some feedback, I was like, "Sure thing!"
What I got back was a body slam. A wakeup call that said, "Hey stupid, you've forgotten all kinds of things that should really be basic to a story."
My mistake could be summed up in one word - Ego.
I thought I was a great writer prior to that point, and instead I learned quickly just how much I don't know. I call it my best mistake because it altered how I view my writing, and how eager I am to learn how to write better. After picking my bruised ego back up off the floor (and after a few days of self-reflection), I realized that while I do know how to write, I don't know it all and I have lots of room for improvement. And this isn't a bad thing.
Remembering how it felt to get slammed keeps me focused on writing well. This mistake also reminds me to be open to learning new and better ways to improve my craft. This is also a good thing.
If you haven't popped by my predecessor Sandra's blog, you need to check out her awesome answer (and the great song/video choice). And tomorrow, expect to see an even better response from the talented Michelle McLean.
As for all of you, what is your greatest mistake as a writer?