Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where the ladies at YA Highway post a weekly writing- or reading-related question for participants to respond to on their own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s unique take on the topic.
This Week’s Topic: What’s the biggest writing/querying/publishing mistake you’ve made so far?
I’ve yet to do anything colossally stupid or embarrassing (I’m sure my time will come), though I have made mistakes that have slowed my progress. I’ve neglected to research (which explains why my first YA manuscript [a tragically low-concept contemporary] clocked in at approximately 130,000 words). I’ve queried too soon (yes, that same first manuscript), and I’ve entertained the wildly unproductive belief that I am the exception. But my biggest mistake, the one I’ve since remedied and will never, ever make again, is trying to make it as a writer all by myself.
Good news: That first manuscript? The tragically low-concept contemporary? It somehow snagged me a critique partner (the amazingly talented Heather Howland), who tore it up in the kindest of ways . In the process, she taught me all about voice, word choice, and plot, and also hooked me up with some of her writing friends (including my other two amazingly talented critique partners Jus Accardo and AE Rought).
In the interest of inserting myself further into the YA writing community, I started blogging and tweeting and interacting with all kinds of fantastic people (both online and local). Can you guess what happened next? I’ll tell you: Writing became easier. And more fun. I felt less crazy. Less alone. I also learned a lot, and my writing improved in the process.
I’m not sure what I would do without the YA community, and I’m not sure how my sanity survived that first manuscript without my critique partners and writing friends. (My husband might say it didn’t survive. Hmm…).
For more, check in Friday. I’ll share some of my favorite online writing communities. Also, stop by YA Highway to see how other participants answered this question.
Do tell… what’s the biggest writing/querying/publishing mistake you’ve made so far?
*The wise words of James Joyce.