Big Writing Mistakes

My first writing mistake was not sending an article from my MA thesis to Louise DeSalvo who was publishing a book titled Virginia Woolf: The Impact of Sexual Abuse on Her Life and Work. She heard me read from my essay at the Women’s Studies Association conference in Seattle and asked for a copy. It was out to a journal. I thought it would be better if it was published on its own rather than just be mentioned in a book. I was wrong.

My second writing mistake was believing that just because an acquisitions editor liked my novel and wanted to publish it meant that it was in fact going to be published. I even put it on my Vita for a while. I was wrong.

My third writing mistake was not understanding that I was being offered writing jobs from movie producers and TV writers at a Robert McKee workshop. Three jobs! Nobody actually came right out and said it, but that’s what they were. I was so naïve I thought we were just chatting. I was wrong.

I’ve made more, but at a job interview once (I got that job), I was asked to name three strengths and two weaknesses. I’ve already named three big mistakes, so I’ll stop with those before I get too embarrassed.

Now it’s your turn. Come on. I know you’ve made some.

Author: Theresa Crater

Award-winning author Theresa Crater brings ancient temples, lost civilizations and secret societies back to life in her visionary fiction. In The Star Family, a Gothic mansion holds a secret spiritual group and a 400-year-old ritual that must be completed to save the day. The shadow government search for ancient Atlantean weapons in the fabled Hall of Records in Under the Stone Paw and fight to control ancient crystals sunk beneath the sea in Beneath the Hallowed Hill. Other novels include School of Hard Knocks and God in a Box, both exploring women in historical context. Her short stories explore ancient myth brought into the present day. The most recent include “The Judgment of Osiris” and “Bringing the Waters.” Theresa has also published poetry and a baker’s dozen of literary criticism. Currently, she teaches meditation, as well as creative writing and British lit.

6 thoughts on “Big Writing Mistakes”

  1. Oh dear. Staying too long in a job that was sucking out my soul. Saying “I’ll get to that novel some day” instead of just sitting down and writing it. Not traveling more when I was in better physical shape. Yeah, I think I’m going to stop there, too. 🙂


  2. Oh my. There are so many. I think the most costly mistakes have come from misinterpreting responses, as you said, Theresa, in your conversations with the Hollywood folks. I didn’t realize that the encouraging, personal, hand-written notes from some of the slick magazines meant that I needed to try harder. All I saw was the rejection.


  3. Cynthia, true, but some folks break out in very late life. You’ve got time.
    Great point, Mary. we need that precious energy!
    Sue, yes! Thanks for your example. The rules of the game are not published anywhere.


  4. So many things that could be called mistakes are also the things that put me where I am right now. If we’re open, we can learn more from mistakes (about ourselves and our journeys) and continue to improve. Okay, though, I thought of one: I would have taken the time to better edit the ARC of my first book!


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