5 Writing Mistakes I’ve Made Multiple Times19:00
I’ve been writing for quite a long time. I’ve written 20-ish manuscripts, and I’ve even been to university to study writing. But that’s not to say that I’m particularly good at writing. In fact, for the amount of time I’ve been writing for, I have failed quite spectacularly more times than I would really care to admit to. Except that today I’m actually admitting to some of the mistakes I’ve made the most often (because how can you be quite sure that it’s a real mistake unless you’re tried it several times?). Maybe you can relate to some of these? (Please don’t let me be the only one…)
Refusing To Give Up On A Failed Idea
You know that idea that’s simply not working, no matter how many times you rewrite it, but you still can’t bear to let go because if you could just do it slightly different, just rewrite it one more time, it’s sure to work? Yeah, that’s me with most of my failed books. My first MS was like that. I must have tried rewriting it four or five different times before I finally managed to scrap it. And then there was the book about enhanced teens escaping from a world of virtual reality. That one got a good few goes round before I shelved it. To be completely honest, I do get the urge to go back to them sometimes, but for now they’ll stay gathering dust while I work on books I can actually write.
Dismissing Writing Advice Instantly
There’s so much writing advice out there. Obviously that particular piece can’t be meant for me. It sounds nice in theory, but there’s no way it’ll work if I tried it. Haha, poor silly naïve Imogen. I’ve done this far too many times. Most of the advice I dismiss comes from smart people too, who actually know what they’re talking about. Something I’m learning (very slowly) is that even when a piece of advice doesn’t work for you exactly, there’s usually something you can take away from it.
Shiny New Idea Chasing
This usually happens right when I’m in the depths of editing. I’ll be working away like the industrious little writer I’m supposed to be, and all of a sudden a shiny new idea will float by, NaNoWriMo gives me a look, or I get bored for two seconds and suddenly I’m drafting three more books and my editing pile is growing as deep as the Marianas Trench. I’m fighting this mistake at the moment actually. Oh that lovely Red Riding Hood retelling is beckoning SO hard for Camp. Must. Resist. Must. Edit…
Worrying More About Word Count Than Story
Honest talk. I hate seeing my word count shrink while I’m editing. Not that there’s any logical reason for this, but the moment a scene or two need the axe, I get all anxious, checking the book length and trying to figure out if I’m going to be able to make them up anywhere. It makes exactly no sense, but I do it every. Single. Time.
Judging My Books (And Myself) Against Other People’s
I try to present myself on this blog as a writer who knows what she’s doing at least most of the time. In actual fact, most of the time I’m reading other people’s excerpts and wondering how I can get mine to look as nice as theirs, bewailing the fact I can’t seem to get a draft good enough to give to beta readers and comforting myself with chocolate while wondering why I can’t have it all together like everyone else. I do of course realise that most people haven’t quite all got it together as we’d like people to believe, but that doesn’t always quite stop the comparisons.
So, now you know my terrible secrets. Please tell me I’m not the only one who makes mistakes like these. If you’re feeling brave, let me know one of your worst writing mistakes! Let’s be terrible (or just real) writers together.