Hey! I’m doing the blog chain again! This month’s prompt is: What’s one thing you wish you knew when you started writing?
I started writing when I was in third grade (I think- it might’ve been fourth grade because my school looped, meaning we had the same teachers for two years). The project was to write and illustrate a book to read to the class and the parents. Most of the kids wrote three, maybe four pages. I wrote twelve. Front and back. When I read it, the class decided that it was the best one. And they didn’t change their minds.
I found the little book again a few years later, in sixth grade. I had been going through my ‘memory box,’ which is where my mom and I put special things from my childhood that we want to save. I re-read it and got so many ideas about expanding it and turning it into a novel that I decided to do just that. The Crystal Guardians: Book One doesn’t really look anything like The Diamond Of Light, the story I wrote in third grade, but it has the same characters, and roughly the same goal. Of course, I’ve added a bunch of characters, but the original ones are still the main protagonists.
That reminds me- I really should start rewriting it again….
Anyways, I’d always been good at writing, whether it be essays, letters, or descriptive language exercises, but I never considered putting all of my ideas onto paper before. My biggest regret is that during those years before sixth grade, I never really wrote down any of my ideas. I might’ve wrote down a couple, but many went to waste, lost in the archives of my mind. I’ll probably never get them back. That kills me.
There’re a lot of things I wish I knew when I really started writing in sixth grade. First, I wish I’d known that, more than four years later, I still haven’t been able to stick with a book. Curse you, ADHD and tiny attention span! I bet if I’d known that, I would’ve tried harder to focus. I’m not saying it would’ve changed anything, but hey, we can always hope that it will (because when someone invents a time machine, I’ll totally go tell my sixth grade self to get a move on!)
I also wish I’d known about that promise I made to the bishop in my letter I wrote for Confirmation. You know, the whole I-promise-to-be-a-published-author-before-I’m-eighteen thing? Actually, you probably don’t know about that, because I just looked back through my previous posts, and it’s not there. I guess I never published it. Oops!
Anyways, we all had to write letters to the bishop before being Confirmed. At the end of my letter, I wrote something like, “Just so I can have more motivation, I’ll tell you that I promise to be a published author before I’m eighteen.” So, not only did he read it himself, at the Confirmation mass, he was reading some excerpts of our letters, and he was like, “good luck to this person,” and read that. I was like, face-palm. I’m surprised my mom didn’t just die right there 🙂 Oh yeah, and he also accidentely gave away my birthday, so now the whole church knew who wrote it, because who else has a birthday of September 11 who wants to write for a living? I’m the only one in my church.
I wish I knew about that because I totally would’ve focused a hell of a lot more before I was fifteen!
There are a bunch of other things I wish I’d known, but the last big one is this: I wish I’d known that it’s better to show the draft to people and get advice than to hide it because you’re too afraid that you’ll get made fun of. That’s a big one that I think everyone should know, no matter how old or experienced they are. That is probably one of the golden rules of writing right there. You’ll never get published if you don’t have someone to fix the plot holes, mechanics, plain-old screw-ups, and all the other stuff that’s wrong. You need more than just one pair of eyes. Nine or ten is optimal.
Alright, I need to go write. Although there’s no way I’m winning Camp NaNoWriMo this month (I’ve given up trying to work against the world and find time), that doesn’t mean I can’t just work on my writing. Bye!
Participants In The Chain