Hey! We’re back on the blog chain. This chain is brought to you by the letter X and the talented Rebecca, who wants to know: What is the best mistake you’ve made so far in your journey as a writer? How has that mistake helped your grow?
The question is really: which one do I choose? I’ve tried very hard over the last couple of years to look at every mistake as a learning opportunity. I figure, the bigger the mistake, the bigger the opportunity to learn something.
I think I mentioned it in one of the comments, but my best mistake was querying. I hadn’t even finishing revising yet before I queried. I was so green, I didn’t even have a critique group. When I got my first MS. request, I had to stay up half the night finishing my revisions. And it was my best mistake because it landed me my agent and my subsequent publishing contract.
But I don’t want anyone to be like: this is how you should do it. Because the truth is that I was lucky I had a strong voice and hook. My plot was a mess and I was missing so many commas that I must have driven Chris crazy. I went through multiple revisions with Chris and then multiple revisions with my editor. Revisions that I SHOULD have done myself. I sent DDL out into the world days after I’d finished it. Now, granted, I’m a “revise as I go” kind of person, which means that I revise earlier chapters as I work on later ones, but still, if I’d sat on DDL for 3 or 6 month, I might have seen some of the glaring faults.
So you should definitely use this as an example of what NOT to do. I’m happy with how things turned out, but I only got one chance to make a first impression on my editor, and now I worry that I’m always going to be that writer who needs lots of guidance on plots. Always put your best pages forward.