Learning and Improving

I published my first novel in 2014. This was after about 17 years of writing feverishly for a few months, then putting it aside and tabling it until the next time I was inspired.

I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. While much of the work I wrote back then is no longer in my possession, I do remember some pieces quite fondly. Some of it was not all that good.

The thing about writing is, it’s a process. The more we do, the more we learn. We all make mistakes, from basic grammatical or punctuation errors to problems in structure. The key is to learn from those mistakes.

I’ve heard of some writers who grow to hate their first published work. It’s been said that some look at that work and decide they could do a much better job. I feel a similar way about Phoenix. I still love the story, but there are definitely things I would revise and improve if I had the chance. The point is, should I? I think if I did, then what I might see as an improvement might change the story too drastically.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I did write fanfiction. I look back at some of the early pieces I wrote and wish I could rewrite them. Again, I don’t think I should. Not because I run the risk of changing the story to make it completely unrecognisable. Because those early mistakes are actually a reminder of how far I’ve come in the years I’ve been writing almost full time.

It’s good to look back at those works. It helps to show that I have become more confident in my writing. Things I hesitated to write years ago, I am now able to explore in more detail.

To me, the mark of a good writer is one who is open to learning from their mistakes. A bad writer is one who refuses to admit that they make mistakes. Or that they’re not perfect.

Life is about learning. Writing is the same.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *