Tomorrow marks my one-year blogging anniversary! Woo-hoo! The journey so far has been such a blast. I've learned a lot, met a lot of great people, and am so happy I decided to join this community. I started this because I thought I "had to" but never did I think it would become something that I loved. So thanks to each of you because all of your comments, support, knowledge-sharing, and humor have made this an amazing experience.
Now in addition to the friendships, I've also gained a lot of helpful tidbits along the way. Things I wish I would've known when I started. So today, I thought I would recap what I've learned and send a letter to my 2009 self to give "past" me fair warning.
Dear 2009 Me,
1. Crit groups or beta readers are vital. Your mother and husband do not count.
2. Your first novel is not going be the THE ONE. Because first novels are practice. (Yes, I know there are exceptions. And yes, you will think you are the exception. You're not.)
3. You will query your first book too soon. Querying before you ever have a beta reader, before you ever started reading blogs, and before you read any decent craft book is not wise.
4. Blogging and social networking will become a time suck. But it's all worth it because you are going to meet some awesome and talented people and learn more than you can imagine.
5. You will discover that the following do not make you a clever writer, they just stamp amateur on your forehead:
Creative dialogue tags.
Excessive --ly adverbs
Introductory participial phrases every other sentence
Using three adjectives to describe something that could be covered with one
Three pages of backstory to kick off a novel.
Prologues to hide your slow-moving first chapter.
6. People will actually read your blog! (Past self just gasped at this prospect.)
7. Patience will take on a whole new meaning. You still will not be good at practicing it.
8. You will learn that staring at the mailbox or your inbox does not manifest agent and publisher responses.
9. You will meet amazing friends who push you, support you, and make you laugh your butt off.
10. Despite your previous tendency to not finish things, you will complete two more novels and will blog five days a week for an entire year. Because you have found your passion.
So that's what I've learned so far. It's been a great year. Thank you again to everyone who's been part of this journey so far with me. I ♥ you guys!
So what are some of the things you've learned since starting your journey? What has surprised you?