Three years. My birthday was on a Friday that year, I think, and that weekend, with zero creative writing experience and no previous desire to do so, I dived headfirst into writing my first novel.
That act has changed the shape of my entire life--mostly in good ways.
To acknowledge all of that, I was hoping you'd join me in a little exercise:
What I used to believe
What I know now
I'll take a few turns, and then maybe you can join in? One commenter today will get a $20 gift card (because hey, it's my birthday, and I can celebrate however I want to!).
What I used to believe: Writing is something only Writers do--the ones with MFAs and stints in the Iowa Writers' Workshop.
What I know now: Writing is something everybody who feels the urge can and should do.
What I used to believe: It's all about THIS novel! I will not abandon this story! I can't! It's a matter of loyalty!
What I know now: Not every story is viable or worthy. I will not abandon writing, but I might move on from a project, even if I love it. There are more words and ideas where that one came from.
What I used to believe: I am a special, special snowflake for writing a novel.
What I know now: I am one of thousands and thousands. If I want to be successful, I have to have a lot more than raw talent. I have to work my tail off.
What I used to believe: Writing is a purely artistic and creative process. When the magic is there, I write, and when it's not, I take it easy.
What I know now: I am a professional, and I need to act like one. Some days I may not feel like getting up and going to work, but that doesn't mean I don't have to show up.
What I used to believe: Writing is a solitary endeavor.
What I know now: Writing is a team sport.
I could go on and on. Like I said, a lot has changed in the last three years. I've learned so much. I've made so many friends. I am so grateful.
Now--your turn! Give it a whirl: What you used to believe ... and what you know now. It totally doesn't have to be about writing, by the way. It can be about anything important in your life. GO!
Oh, and on Wednesday, Halloween, I'll be guest posting at the Amazon Kindle blog--a Dark City Survival Guide. I'll link to it from here and hope you check it out. It was a pretty fun post to write. And on Friday, I'll be celebrating something else: the release of Laura Diamond's novella NEW PRIDE! What a week!
Winner of the gift card will be announced next Monday!