Wednesday, February 3, 2010

If I Could Turn Back Time

This time on the blog chain Rebecca started things off with this question:

What is the best mistake you've made so far in your journey as a writer? How has that mistake helped you grow :)?

I really love the way that this question is phrased, how it asks us to reflect on our "best" mistakes - because part of the writing journey is allowing ourselves the freedom to make mistakes... and then resigning ourselves to the endless rounds of edits and revisions it will take to fix them all. And in that spirit I have to say that all of my mistakes are my best ones, and all of them have allowed me to grow as a writer.

Of course, this doesn't mean that I never make the same mistake twice - in fact I often make the same mistake dozens of times over, but my experience has taught me the best way to quickly find and weed out these types of mistakes from my manuscripts. And just to keep things from getting dull I make new writing mistakes quite often as well.

What are the best writing mistakes that you have made? And to keep following this chain - head over to Amanda's blog.

17 comments:

  1. oh mercy - I think I have been a bit - bold at times and not enough so at others. I am a but manic in my comfort level with writing. I hope I get there!

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  2. Great question! I think I subbed too early with a manuscript, but it toughened my skin for querying later on.

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  3. Heh! Where to even begin. I do love how this question is phrased too. We can learn and grow from mistakes and, as Christine so aptly put it, it is a process.

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  4. after I finished my first ms, I wrote a query--in order to gain PRO status in RWA--to an agent in Florida...don't remember her name, but I could probably figure it out with a little research. It was a horribly written query. I don't think it even had a paragraph about the novel. After all that, I didn't even apply for pro status. *blush* Not sure why. I could have gotten it with her rejection, which btw instead of saying "what the heck are you doing? how dare you send me such crap?!" was a nice, polite form letter. I respect agents. They put up with alot. :D

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  5. Great answer! I compeletely agree. I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't written that first horrible draft. :)

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  6. I'd love it if you could share an example with us!

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  7. So true that it's all a big process of mistake-making :). I wouldn't trade it for anything!

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  8. I'm with you, Kate. It doesn't keep me from making the mistakes, but knowing I do helps me find and fix them faster. :)

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  9. Great response. I completely understand the idea of making the same mistakes over and over. And here I thought it was just me being a blockhead :)

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  10. I'd say the greatest mistake is not learning from a previous mistake.

    But you're right, the best mistakes are the ones that teach you something.

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  11. lol yeah, I often make the same mistakes over and over, despite my best efforts to the contrary. Live and learn, I suppose :)

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  12. I'm a multiple mistake maker too! ;) And like you, being a repeat offender allows us to find those mistakes and take care of them before disaster strikes.

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  14. Ditto what everyone's been saying. You have an awesome attitude about mistakes.

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  15. My biggest mistake? Writing my first book! It was awful but it taught me so much about my writing and myself. I'll write more about it when it's my turn.

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  16. My first biggest mistake was writing my first book at 216K words! LOL! This was before I found out the rules, and I kinda lost my mind. But this most definitely taught me how to edit and cut and "kill your darlings"!

    Second one was my first queries...awful awful horrendous embarrassing things. I'm surprised I even got courtesy rejections! You learn, you learn, you learn some more.

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