Being a Writer Taught Me…

I had a million things running through my mind for today’s Writer Wednesday post. It’s been one of those days, too many ideas and not enough time to see them all to fruition. So you get this. Ways that being a writer prepared me for life.
Being a writer taught me to accept failure. One of the first things I learned along the way as a writer is that rejection is basically part of the game, unless you are extremely lucky. Not even J. K. Rowling is that lucky. You’ll get rejected, your work will get rejected. Inevitably, you’ll have to go back to the drawing board and eventually you have to realize it’s okay, it’s all part of the process. You cannot get better without meeting criticism head on and taking it for what it is.
Being a writer taught me to double check my work. This one should be obvious. As writers, we can’t edit as we go. That will take you beyond a migraine and into “Kill me now” territory. However, we can catch the spelling and basic grammar mistakes as we make them, as best we can anyway. So basically, surface problems. And when the second and third drafts come around, check, check, and check again to make sure we’ve caught every mistake we possibly can. We can’t catch them all, not by ourselves, but when we put forth our best effort, it makes everyone’s day a little easier.
Being a writer taught me that you have to rely on your teammates. If this seems odd, you may want to do a little more research into being a writer. Even if you’re just self-publishing, to really do it right you should probably hire a professional editor and cover artist. They are your teammates, listen to them and work with them so your book is presented in the best possible way. If you’re going through traditional publishing, then it’s not only an editor and cover artist, but also possibly an agent, and whoever else your book goes through before it sees publication, and I’ve been told many hands make a book that we see on the shelves. It’s a team effort. Recognize.
Being a writer taught me feedback is essential, learn to love it. This one should be self-explanatory. Really. Beta readers. Editors. Everyone who touches your novel before it hits the shelves, real or virtual.
Being a writer taught me community is important. Writers are traditionally lone wolves, I’d venture to say. I know I prefer being left alone to being around a bunch of people, but there’s nothing like having a connection with other people over something as important in my life as writing. It’s awesome. Plus, peers help inform your craft and you grow that way.
Being a writer taught me that you never stop learning. As a writer, I will spend the rest of my life reading and studying not only other people’s writing, but also technique. Books like Self-editing for Fiction Writers will always have a place on my shelf and no matter how far I go in life, how successful I become, the day I think I don’t need to be constantly learning about my craft is the day I may as well just quit.
This week, I want to give my Writer Wednesday shoutout to Writing Wenches. Remember how I mentioned community? Yeah, they’re it!

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