I am pulling back on blogging for the rest of the month, limiting posts to two or three times a week. Life has thrown me a series of intense curve balls of late…in all aspects of my life. So, it’s time to step back and renew…just for a moment.
But for now…the blog topic. This one was started by the fabulous Rebecca, who asked:
What is the best mistake you’ve made so far in your journey as a writer? How has that mistake helped you grow :)?
I love this question because I think we only grow in times of chaos – in moments riddled with missteps. As many of you know, I played the viola for more than twenty years. My orchestra leaders always said, if you’re going to play the wrong notes – make a mistake – do it with everything you got!
I just love that…For me, it speaks to living each moment of life fully committed to the moment – even if it’s dead wrong.
With that, I’ll tell you of my mistakes.
Now, I never see my mistakes as mistakes in the moment they occur. I am too busy trying to live a life committed to the moment. I only recognize my mistakes AFTER they occur, when I reflect on the outcome of my decisions. Sometimes this is something that takes mere seconds after the “mistake” occurs, and sometimes this is something I don’t come to see for weeks, months, or even years.
It was during on such reflection on my writing career, that I realized I had made a HUGE mistake…I sent my ms our LONG before it was ready.
In all fairness, I did not think this was true originally. The fact is, I was far too green to appropriately judge my work, really understand what it needed to be “ready”, etc. Furthermore, since I was so green, I did not “get” the whole Beta-reader thing. I did have a half-way decent query. And I did manage to get some requests.
But as the rejections poured in…and time marched on…and I wrote something else…and I learned what a good story is and is not, I was able to accurately reflect on my first novel (heck, my first few novels) and know they needed to be shelved.
Now, I am not saying I know what a good story is now…I think that is something that is subjective. Something that changes as we authors grow and evolve our craft. But I am saying that my ability to discern has changed dramatically.
And perhaps that is the point of mistakes. They force us to learn to discern our realities more clearly. To evolve.