The Writing Journey

A little while ago Rachel had a detailed post about her writing journey, and the various things she's learned about herself and her writing.

It made me think of what I might have learned, not necessarily since I began writing, but at least in the past few years, when I've begun considering writing not just as a hobby but as something I can actually pursue with a view to publication.

And the first realisation this led to was that I had never before edited my own work. I thought a few rewrites equalled editing, and for some reason was content to finish a novel - and leave it! Now, I can spend a year or so writing and almost twice as long editing and revising and reviewing and rereading, until I know the story backwards and forwards and can still find places to cut or rewrite.

Like Rachel, I also have scenes I'm sure I've written, only to find that they exist in barely legible notes. Never mind the time I was reading a book and had already-written scenes stuck in between the pages - and the book was stolen! That still stings.

Also, that laziness is no excuse. Or squeamishness about reading my own writing. If I want to see it between covers I have to read it in as level headed and objective fashion as possible.

That I constantly need to look for novel ways to push myself to hunker down and write. I can't stick to any kind of routine - at least not while I have the full time job - so I've got to take what I can, when I can. Like writing during pub quizzes, when everyone else goes out for a cigarette. Or snatching at inspiration whenever it comes.

That I've *got* to tell this story, no matter how long it takes - which is the drive that keeps us all writing, I suppose, in a very good way.


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