I have decided, seeing as my brain is currently, as Edward said on the forum, full of cotton wool, to see what famous authors have to say on the topic of writing and what we can learn from them.
“I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.” So said James Michener, Pulitzer prize winning author of over 40 books.
What I love about this quote is its honesty. I know that I am not a very good writer – not where first drafts or blogs are concerned – but I do know that with careful editing and re-writing I can usually turn out a sell-able article. Yet when it comes to writing fiction I suddenly expect myself to get it right the first time.
I’ve lost count of the number of short stories and novel chapters that I’ve given up on because I wasn’t happy with what I’d written. I never give up on articles that easily; I work at them until they are right. Yet I’d never even thought of doing that with my fiction, I’d just assumed that I was no good at writing fiction. Looking back, I’d never even given myself a chance!
In my new free-writing run up to Christmas I’ve decided to keep all the words produced and then later see if I can’t develop them further. I also have decided not to be so harsh on my fiction attempts, but to continue to work at them and rewrite them just as I would with my nonfiction articles. Who knows? With a lot of rewrites and attention, I might actually get one that can be published.