Over the years I’ve been given a lot – L.O.T. – of advice on writing. I’ve been advised that all writers everywhere need an MFA degree to be ‘good’, that writers write 16 hours out of every day, that writers always love every word they’ve ever written…and the list goes on. The gist of these nuggest of advice was always this: that because I sometimes hated a particular scene or because I didn’t (and still don’t) write X-hours in each day or because my degree isn’t a Masters of Fine Arts that I wasn’t good enough. That I wasn’t a real writer. That I should quit.
I call bull$^!7 on all those pieces of advice because no two writers are exactly alike. What Writer A needs is different from what Writer X needs is different from the struggles Writer H had…I could keep going with my fake-alphabet people…but I’ll get to the point: There are three rules that I do follow and that I think make good advice. Here they are:
1. Take a risk.
Writing is a risk in itself because what we write may not resonate…and we have no idea until we send those pages off to our critique partners, agents, editors … and sometimes out into the world. Every story we tell is a risk…and the biggest risk is opening that blank document or notebook and starting to write.
2. Jealousy isn’t necessarily bad.
I’m not saying you should let jealousy of how well Writer A’s third book in a series is doing stop your writing. I’m saying letting that jealousy feed your own energy and creativity can be a good thing. Using jealousy in that way can drive you to be better, to write sharper. And that is never a bad thing.
3. “Good enough” is not.
Every now and then I look at a sentence or scene I’ve written and I think, “wow, I did that.” As soon as I say that to myself I make myself look at one of my first books – the ones that will never be published because of the badness. Why do I do this? Because it’s easy to fool yourself that everything you write is amazingly-wonderfully-diabolically the best.thing.ever. I never want to feel that way – at least not on a constant basis…because if that happens I might not try as hard, might not pay as much attention to the details. And my writing most definitely would slip. So I’ll never be ‘good enough’ – not to myself. And I’m okay with that.
Once upon a time, Kristina Knight spent her days running from car crash to
fire to meetings with local police–no, she wasn’t a troublemaker, she was a journalist. Her career took her all over the United States, writing about everything from a serial killer’s capture to the National Finals Rodeo. Along the way she found her very own Knight in Shining Cowboy Boots and an abiding love for romance novels. And just like the characters from her favorite books, she’s living her own happily ever after.
Kristina writes sassy contemporary romance novels; her books have appeared on Kindle Best Seller Lists. She loves hearing from readers, so drop her a line!