Ten writing lessons I learned in 2010

1. The business of writing is diametrically opposed to the art of writing.

2. I’m not nearly as bad a “serious” writer as I thought  I was. The corollary: I’m not nearly as good a “serious” writer as I think I am.

3. Modern technology makes writing, editing, revising, evaluating and preparing manuscripts incredibly easy. I’m not sure I’d bother if I had to use a clunky typewriter with sticky keys, carbon paper, whiteout, or plain old pen and paper.

4. If you read enough ‘how to write’ books, you will go mad from the contradictions.

5. Don’t even begin to anticipate the next big thing in literature. Those books have already been written and are in the process of getting published. The corollary to that isn’t necessarily “write what you know”, but might be something like “write for yourself first, then write to get read.”

6. Writing a query letter scares the crap out of me! Plus, it’s damned hard to do.

7. There are an enormous number of generous people out in cyberspace who are willing to share their expertise in how to succeed as a writer.

8. Get into cyberspace and network…at least a little bit.

9. Leave out all the unnecessary words in your story BEFORE you put them into the first draft. It’s much easier to delete verbiage that was never there to begin with.

10. If you participate in all the non-writing activities the ‘experts’ continually urge us to participate in: blogging, tweeting, building a website, connecting with other writers, editors, publishers, fans (if you are fortunate enough to have published a book and have an actual fan of that book), taking writing classes, going to writers conferences, book fairs, trade shows, etc., you will either have zero hours left in the day to actually write, or will need to learn to survive with no sleep, no friends, no social life (except for those writers conferences and online networking), and a serious deterioration of personal hygiene.

What writing lessons did you learn in 2010?



* here’s a link to a blog post that inspires me to work smarter and learn better the craft of writing in 2011 http://storyfix.com/

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