Friday, 30 December 2011

The Lessons of 2011

Well, that's it, folks. 2011 is all but over. As an obsessive author, I suppose it's only right that I sketch out for you all the things that have stuck with me most this year.

  • Yes, you CAN have too many commas.
  • On a related note, the semi-colon is woefully underused these days.
  • The number of authors who don't bother to read chills me to the bone.
  • My best ideas come to me when I'm either in the bath with a glass of wine or curled up at 4am.
  • The second paragraph is even more important as a hook than the first.
  • Don't scrimp on either the cover of your book or the editing, even if you're doing it yourself. Edit once, twice, three times - then take a break for a week and come back to it with fresh eyes. Edit again.
  • Twitter is the most fantastic community of supportive authors I've ever had the good fortune to come across.
  • Rejections are inevitable - but if you learn from each one, your writing can only improve.
  • Editors who provide constructive feedback with a rejection are absolute diamonds and I'd love to kiss them all.
  • That my writing has a painful tendency to become too passive when I'm in the zone - and how to recognise and fix it.
  • Those overly florid passages of description filled to the brim with metaphors that my English teacher had me write are absolutely not necessary. Miss Buxton, your red pen no longer fills me with fear.
And most importantly, I've learned to trust my instincts. If something doesn't feel right in a story, then out it must come, no matter how attached I am to the words I've crafted so lovingly.

It's a lesson that can be and has been applied to life outside my head as well. Even if a decision seems impossibly hard, if your instincts tell you it is the right one then take a deep breath and dive right in. Doing so has seen me finishing this year with more love, positive influence and success around me than I would have dreamed possible 365 days ago.

A Happy New Year to you all and may 2012 bring you all that you dream of - be that Ferraris, Moet et Chandon, a home in the Bahamas or even the simple pleasure of a hot cup of coffee in the morning ;p

Kate x

1 comment:

  1. Fab post Kate! And you've learned stuff for me - passed on the lesson and shared. Excellent. X