Jon Gibbs (jongibbs) wrote,
Jon Gibbs

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What writerly mistakes have you made?

My old gran used to say, 'Smart folks try to learn from their mistakes, the wise ones try to learn from other people's.' With that in mind, I thought it might be interesting to hear about some of the big writerly-type mistakes people feel they've made, and what they learned from them.

As you might imagine, I've made a fair few myself, but if I had to pick, I'd say these are the two biggest so far:

From the Spring of 2003 to the Winter of 2007, I wrote four complete novels, at least I thought they were complete. In reality, they were little more than poorly-written first drafts. 

What I should have also been doing during that time was working to improve my craft, but in my blissful ignorance, I didn't realize there was so much about writing that I didn't even know I didn't know. If I'd taken the time to find out, those drafts would have turned out much better.

In December of 2009, when Echelon Press offered me a contract for Fur-Face, I made the mistake of confusing editing work and book promotion with actual writing. Although I did a fair bit of work outlining several new book ideas (an important part of my writing process), I wrote very few new words of fiction in 2010.

In January of this year, I had to force myself to make it a priority. After almost six months, I feel like I'm at last back on track. I have a good routine now which seems to work for me. 

How about you?

What are the biggest writerly mistakes you've made?

Tags: fiction, writing

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