Friday, November 6, 2009

What I've learned so far...

I was thinking today (substitute procrastinating when I should have been writing) about what I have learned so far on my writing journey. Sometimes it doesn't feel like it because I still learn every day, but I have learned a lot. Now, many of these things might be obvious to others and of course I don't profess to be an expert on anything, but thought I would share those that have been my ‘ah-ha’ moments so far:
  • There's a hell of a lot of competition out there! There are many wonderful writers in varying stages of their careers all vying to be successful authors in this genre. Oh, boy! There is obvious awareness of those very successful, well known authors but the ranks of the newly published and aspiring have many incredibly talented writers.
  • There are a lot of preconceived ideas about readers and writers of romance. BTW, I am not fat, ugly, unmarried or sexually deprived as one moron seemed to think was an accurate description of the women who read romance!
  • Romance writers are BIG readers of romance. I’m not sure why this didn’t occur to me before. I transitioned from reader to writer as many have and continue to read. I don’t imagine I’ll ever stop but I've been surprised to learn how prolific some of the writers out there are in terms of reading. Where do they find the time??
  • I’m not as crazy as I sometimes think. Other writers hear (their characters) voices too. Thank God for that one.
  • Writing contests are not just for winning. I’m a competitive person and will be the first to admit if I enter a competition I aim to win. I’ve found the most value I’ve gotten out of a contest is to have been ripped to shreds in regards to the feedback I’ve received. Bring it on because I am a better writer because of it.
  • Twelve months aint nothin in this industry. In fact, it’s a drop in the bucket when you’re talking about trying to get published if you take into account the publisher wait times and turnaround and the schedule to get published if you even manage to get a contract.
  • You need a tough skin. If you don't have one, get one. If you can't then you have to learn how to take feedback and criticism in a way that doesn’t send you curling into the fetus position. You’re entering a career where this will never go away.
  • Romance writers are some of the nicest people I’ve come across so far. Not nice as in ‘sugary sweet’, but nice in a ‘willing to spend their time, share their expertise and lend their support and encouragement when it’s needed’ way.



  1. Hey Kaily! Yep. I learned all those things and am still learning. Heck, there are pubbed writers who've been at it for years who still learn stuff.

    But you know this stuff now, which makes your life and your writing a bit easier. Knowing the pitfalls is half the battle.

    Keep your chin up. I can't wait to read your work. And as for competitions, keep at it. You're good, really you are. : )

  2. Yes! I agree! Thanks! I really should add another one as well. Rejection is a necessary evil on the road to publication. It just is. Get used to it. Don't dwell on it. Learn what you're supposed to from it. Become strong from it. Write better for it.

  3. All so's amazing how when you're starting to think you've got this business partially figured out, you realize you're just at the beginning.

  4. So true... I'm not fat.. or ugly either, but the other two... ; )

    Romance writers are the nicest people online I've ever met. I wonder if it has something to do with the nature of our writing?

    In this business, you never stop learning. You've already taken great strides!

    Congratulations on entering contests, I've thought about it but have never taken that step.