"You should never be ashamed to admit you have been wrong. It only proves you are wiser today than yesterday."
What I Wish I'd Known
At a recent writing conference, I was asked to be on a panel titled, ďWhat I Wish Iíd Known.Ē I didnít have time to say all Iíd thought, so Iíll jot down here some of the things I had to figure out the hard way, things I wish someone had told me before I became a professional writer. Fortunately, most of these didnít take me too long to get a clue about.
- You, the author, are less important than any bookstore clerk.
- You are less important than any librarian.
- You are less important than any reader.
- Basically, youíre much less important that youíd thought or hoped youíd be. And it turns out, thatís a good thing.
- For your first book, no one will come to your signings. And possibly for your second book, and third.
- You know those crazy stories of success, where someoneís first novel sells at auction for a huge amount and becomes a best seller overnight? You can stop worrying about it right now, because itís not going to happen to you. And it turns out, thatís also a good thing.
- The more books you read and love, and the happier you are for other authorsí successes, the happier youíll be, too. Apparently, itís not a competition! All writers are on the same side Ė the side of the books, of reading, of literacy, of art, of every reader who wants to fall into a story. And if youíre really lucky, some of those writers will become your friends.
- You really shouldnít wear magenta. Ever again.
- Being a novice novelist should be like being a kid at Christmas. Donít stress about the ham being cold or the rolls not rising or a present not yet wrapped. Just have a ball.
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