This week's question: What have you learned by writing?
Writing for me has always been a way to get out my thoughts onto page, to tell the story of all the voices in my head. I've always been a daydreamer. What else is there to really do on an hour long bus ride to and from school growing up? Oh sure I read, but I also loved to just stare out the window and let my imagination get the better of me. I'd dream up 'stories', of characters and conflicts.
I never thought about writing seriously, not until grade 8 when I decided to try my hand at it. By grade 9 I was writing the WIP I sold to Carina. Yes, it took me a long time. BUT, it taught me persistence. I've put stories aside before. I gave up on them when I lost interest. With this particular story, the characters were just THERE. Yes, the story has evolved a lot. The first rounds I was extra critical on characterization. They seemed flat. And if I saw that, then my readers surely would, so I spent the time when I would read books of published authors studying them. Studying how the characters were developed and what made them tic and come to life. Once I felt I somewhat had a grasp on this, I decided I couldn't plot. At. All.
So... I worked to change that.
The thing with being stubborn (just ask my family, I'm told that all the time), is that I don't let go of things I'm passionate about. For me, this book was IT. It was important to me in a way no other story had. So I persisted and I re-wrote it at least 6 times. The thing about re-writing, I learned what worked and what didn't. Yes, I could have simply shoved it under the bed with the dust and the books I didn't want anyone to know I was reading, but I couldn't do that. I spent years reading articles on how to write. I don't doubt that it's needed to an extent, but I learn better by actually doing it. You can read about how to create characters or plotting all you want, but if you spend all your time doing that, then you aren't writing and you aren't growing as a writer in your own right.
For more on what my friends have learned while writing, click on their links!
Emma G. Delaney