Top 10 Lessons (!Surprises!) along the Writer’s Journey

10.  They’re just words.  Who would’ve thought that writing them could be so hard?  Your nemesis at the day job doesn’t think writing is hard.  In fact, he or she will write a novel one day, just to show you how easy it really is.  Except, it’ll be something serious, not a silly genre book.  Who cares about a wider reading audience?

9.  Your head plays mind games with you.  Your Work-in-Progress is simultaneously garbage and brilliant.  How is that possible?

8.  You wrestle with your story when it doesn’t go in the direction you intended.  You never thought your story would take on its own life and behave like a recalcitrant teenager.

7.  You wrestle with a character who wants to hijack your story.  Wait a minute.  Just whose story is this, anyway?

6.  “Don’t think; just write.”  Get out of your own way and let the story flow.  You end up writing in the zone.  Where’s that?

5.  Your muse works overtime on your story and will suddenly jolt you awake in the middle of the night with the brilliant insight you need to get from point A to point B.  You’re not lost at all!

4.  When you still haven’t sold anything yet, Big Name Authors mentor you anyway.

3.  Editors are just readers, too.  Every reader has individual tastes, and everyone likes different stories.  If someone doesn’t like your story, that doesn’t mean it’s “bad.”  Your story is unique, and that’s good.

2.  Even with a unique story, your first submission isn’t instantly snatched up by New York editor.  Editor is never heard muttering “OMG!  It’s the next ___(fill in blank with current bestseller)!”

1.  Your first publication dies in oblivion.  Oh well.  You write the next one.  Are you surprised?  You write because writers write.  It’s what we do.


9 thoughts on “Top 10 Lessons (!Surprises!) along the Writer’s Journey”

  1. You work where I work? The playwright said she was writing a novel just to relax. I’m waiting to see how that works out.


  2. So. Very. Great. Thanks, Sue. I needed this today.

    And a character did hijack my first mystery, which turned out very differently than I’d originally planned. No turning back now, though. 🙂


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