One thing that I have noticed all around is that people are posting lists of things they learned this year and I had so much fun reading yours, that I decided to make one of my own. So here goes - my witty and wise lessons of 2010:
1) Pantsing can be totally good for me. Sometimes I need to shut up my internal editor and just get some words on the page. Because really awesomesauce things can happen that way that I KNOW would never happen otherwise.
2) "Research" and "Plotting" can = "Procrastination." I am NOT saying that I shouldn't research or plot, but when I sit down to write and spend the whole time doodling about things that might possibly happen in the sequel to the book I haven't even finished yet, it is NOT GOOD.
3) It is possible to write a WHOLE lot more than I do now. If there was one thing I learned from NaNo, it's that when I make myself find the time, I find it. Even in the middle of the rest of life there IS time for writing.
4) There are really awesome authors out there. Okay, so I already knew that, but with the chance to meet some of my writing heroes as well as some authors I had never really heard of or read, I have come to one conclusion. We authors are pretty much the coolest people ever.
|Crazy people tend to gravitate to each other :D|
5) You meet the right people at the right time. I met a lot of new people this year, both in person and online and each one of them has come into my life for a specific reason. Some of them it was only for a season - maybe even just that one encounter. Some of them are friendships that could last me a lifetime. I am incredibly grateful for every single one of them.
6) There is NO substitute for a good book. Okay, I knew that already, too, but having lost a lot of my leisure reading time, I can tell you that I adore those moments when I can curl up and lose myself in a book I'm reading just because I want to. Each book I read becomes a part of who I am and reminds me that it is still possible to write something good and fun and worthwhile, no matter how much has been written before.
7) TV shows can sometimes feel like a good book. You know, when the writing and the casting and the acting all gels and you get that really special show that pulls you in and makes you believe that it's real and you cry and laugh and want to LIVE with the characters. It doesn't happen that often, but I've discovered a few shows like that this year. Some are fluffier than others, but each one of them has impacted my story-telling abilities. It's still the written word, even if we're receiving it through a different medium.
8) Sometimes you need a break from the internet. I am blessed in that I have easy and ready access to the web pretty much any time I want it. We have WiFi at home and it's at school too. Then we left on Christmas day and visited my Grandma and Papa who have no computer much less interwebs. It was a much needed and surprisingly refreshing break. I'm glad to be back, but I think I will definitely need to take a week off here or there to keep myself alive.
9) You learn something SO much better when you teach it to someone else. I spent 30 years of my life trying to figure out how on earth to use commas. Then I taught college freshmen and we went over it and now I remember almost all of the rules and I'm actually able to give the reason as to why a comma should or should not be used. Does that mean I always do it right? No, I screw up that no comma before a coordinating conjunction that's followed by a dependent phrase rule ALL the time. But now I can go back and see that it's wrong.
10) Never say Never. I told myself I would NEVER in a million years write a novel featuring a vampire. Cue SNI with the faeries and the vampires and the gnomes and everything. And cue me loving every minute of it. It's not like most vampire novels and they're not really normal vampires either. I mean they are, but don't go thinking Sookie Stackhouse or Twilight or anything. It's more about the faeries and the faerie tales. But what I'm trying to say is, if I'd stuck to that vow this WIP would be a LOT less interesting and I'd be having a lot less fun right now. Keep your mind open to the possibilities or else you might miss something!
And I'll stop it there. A lot of these are writing related, but I think I've done the most growing in how I approach my writing this year so there you have it. Thank you to everyone who has helped to to learn and grow and realize that I'm not alone on this crazy journey whether it's writing or reading or grading a thousand papers - you all rock socks.