It’s February 1st and I said I was going to try to post each day this month to work my way through the many, many posts I’ve bookmarked and haven’t yet shared.
Who better to start with than Patricia C. Wrede? I still regularly read her blog and have since I found it. I find that she gives incredibly level-headed and well-balanced writing advice. She isn’t out there insisting that her way of doing it is the only way and she even acknowledges that for a particular project what worked for her before may not work this time.
I love that about her.
The first post of hers that I have bookmarked is: Six things I wish I’d known
(From May 2014, but let’s all pretend we didn’t notice that…)
It’s a great post. Even just that first point: You don’t have to start out writing one particular length. And there are no rules about what point of view to write in.
(I think the last five books I read were first person in one form or another and all very successful books, so those people who say that no one reads first person are completely and totally full of it. Ignore them.)
Honestly, I think the people who walk around declaring that there’s only one path or one way of doing things are wrong at best and dangerous to new writers at worst.
There should only be one rule for writers: You can choose any path you want and write in any way you want to as long as it works.
I also like her fourth point.
You can’t compare yourself with anyone else.
I’m still reeling from reading Patrick Rothfuss’s books. They are so good. And the fact that the first one was his debut makes me despair of ever finding success with my writing if that’s what I’m up against.
But then I remind myself that I’ll probably sell my 1,000th copy of something this month and I’ve yet to be one-starred for writing crap and I realize that maybe a few people out there actually take some pleasure in my writing. Or at least they don’t hate it and that’s a good, solid first step.
And, really, that’s all you can do as a new writer–take it one step at a time until you’re finally there. (Or run into a brick wall. At which point you turn in some direction that doesn’t have a brick wall and take the next step…)
If you haven’t already, explore PCW’s blog. It’s a goldmine of information and advice. And, as her point number 2 says, it’s helpful to listen to those who’ve been there before you.