Wednesday, March 14, 2012

10 Things I Hope I Won't Regret

I can't remember who now, but someone I follow on Twitter (I'm @Amethystars) tweeted a link to this article, written by author Natalie Whipple, about what she wishes she'd done differently along the road to being published.

It made me think about what I don't want to regret, when (well, if) I get published. So below you will find the 10 things she regrets, and my take on how/whether each one applies to me. If you're trying to be a writer, taking a look at these points wouldn't hurt. I certainly feel it helped me.

1. I wish I didn't query so soon.
Not a problem for me - yet. But I've definitely been tempted to send out queries, just to have done it, just to get that first rejection that says "you tried." But if I know the book's not ready, what kind of try is that? But I will admit that I submit to contests even when I'm not sure my work is polished. Since most of my submissions were pieces I'd written already, since I only submit to free contests and since I've been hugely motivated by doing well in contests, I think it has been for the best.

2. I wish I didn't spend so much time online.
I already have this regret. I spend time online for useful things, like homework and learning about writing, but the internet is also my biggest distraction from actually writing.

3. I wish I hadn't cared so much about getting published.
I don't think I have this problem. But I haven't tried very hard to get published yet, because I know for the most part I haven't made my stories good enough.

4. I wish I'd spent more time studying the craft. 
This one doesn't resonate with me. I study the books I read, the movies I watch, my old writing, and I devour anything that even hints at explaining to me how the whole writing things works. I should spend more time writing, not studying writing!

5. I wish I took editing seriously. 
I know editing is serious and important and vital. I just don't like doing it on anything lengthy, when there's so much rewriting to do. This is exacerbated by the fact that my lengthy works have so far mostly been products of NaNoWriMo, and writing that much, that fast, I tend to see huge improvements in my writing in just a month. So by the time I'm done and ready to think about revision, I know my next project will be so much better. 

6. I wish I didn't follow publishing news so closely.
I don't really, except where it concerns stuff I want to read. Or the Query Shark. I should start, when I get closer to being ready to try and get published. But I think it's good to hold off. The internet is distracting enough as it is!

7. I wish I spent more time living and less time waiting. 
Thankfully (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view) I don't have time to sit around refreshing my inbox as Ms. Whipple regrets. I'm a student, trying to write while still spending time with my family and friends and playing multiple sports.

8. I wish I read more.
Sometimes I wish I read more, but then I get a few days of no school or light homework and make up for it. For example, over the first few days of March Break, I read the newest  three Discworld books (Unseen Academicals, I Shall Wear Midnight and Snuff) and then last night I read the new Tamora Pierce book, Mastiff. I like reading, and this is one regret that couldn't last because I would go crazy if I didn't read.

9. I wish I spent more time with my family. 
Thankfully, this is not something I have to worry about. Except maybe a little bit during NaNoWriMo :)

10. I wish I would have focused on being a better writer sooner.
This is my current issue and thing to work on. Focusing on writing well, not worrying about what people will think or if it'll turn out. Just write, and write as best I can.

It's been interesting for me to see which regrets apply to me... which ones apply to you?

For Natalie Whipple's full commentary, go here to the article.

Until next week (when hopefully I will have a post ready on time), best of luck in all your writerly endeavors!

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