Sin #2 – I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of how Awesome I am

Ahh to post or not to post that is my dilemma. The sun has come out for the first time in, well since last year around this time I think. Hence I’m struggling a bit, so forgive me if my thoughts seem discordant this week.  (I do love the thesaurus feature in Word)

So this week’s sin is the Sin of Over-Confidence (polite word for arrogant)

I think all newbie writers suffer from this sin and usually right off the hop. I know I did. I came home one day and wrote a novel. I thought it was utterly fantastic and as soon as a few others told me how great it was (family, obviously) I immediately sent my master-piece out for query because after all, I was the next J.K Rowling didn’t you know? Naturally, I was promptly rejected. Why? Because the story was crap? Probably. But I’d also put ZERO effort into learning the trade of writing. The comments on the rejections were helpful and it was clear that what I really needed to do was learn about what makes for good writing. Did I take those rejections personally? Of course not.  Lord knows I have my own opinions, so others are certainly entitled to have theirs. Instead, I took the comments and suggestions they gave me and got to work. I researched. Alot. I found and joined an online writing group. This way I had plenty of access to people who were unafraid to bruise my overly expanded ego. Then I read books about how to write. TONS of books. In fact I always have at least one on the go. Each book I read shows me a different perspective and I carefully glean little bits from them all, storing them away for safekeeping. They are full of tips, tricks, and exercises that have helped me in ways I couldn’t have imagined.

I feel I have come a long ways over the past two years, but clearly with a long ways yet to be travelled. Especially if comma’s and grammar have anything to do with it.  *FAIL*

I’m on a most interesting journey that I hope to continue all the way to my deathbed. I can only hope that will be wayyyyy off in the far far far far future.

Long and short of it, I don’t care how good you think you are, you can always improve. Or so I’m learning.  😉

Tammy’s Tip of the Week

Read as much as you write. Read anything you choose, but read. One of the best teachers is an open book.

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8 Responses to Sin #2 – I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of how Awesome I am

  1. Gareth says:

    Hi Tammy,
    Some great advice, one other thing that I’d add is to not only read different genres to what you prefer to create in but to also try writing in them as well. You’d be amazed at the amount that each of these can teach you and you may well find a skill for one that you never thought you possessed. To give an example, for years I planned just fantasy books but after trying a few other genres I found that I’m better suited to writing Young Adult picture books. Its competitive and theres a high odd ratio of rejection but I get a lot of pleasure from it and its a skill I never knew I had.

    Likewise also try different lengths, ie short story, novella and then novel. That way you can learn what works for you. Theres skills in each that will benefit another and it will demonstrate what you can do to help improve. Finally when you do a lot of reading you start to see the architecture underneath a novel so you can see past the flowery words and discover how the author created the title, how they developed the relevant scenes and also how they managed to link it all together. Once you can do that, you’re well on the way to helping your writing up a gear or two.

  2. Great advice.

    I actually studied up a bit before I submitted the first time. Not enough, but you know… lol 🙂


  3. HAHAHA!!! OMG! I just did my blog… hadn’t seen yours and wrote something along the same lines. A year of writing and what I’ve learned. Yes, I thought I had skills too, but alas, I was dead wrong. A year of writing and learning has taught me that I have a long, long, long way to go… but you and I will get there my friend.
    Why? You ask… because we won’t let each other fail! Keep writing and remember…. if you need advice, don’t ask, you know I’m going to give it to you anyway! Mwahaha!! 🙂
    p.s. very fine blog!

  4. Great post -and very true. I think at some point we all suffer from this very problem -and it doesn’t totally go away either – you just cycle from under-confidence to over-confidence! Ah, the life of a writer!

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