I don’t know how many blog posts I’ve written about writing. We’ve been running the Inkpunks blog for a long time now, and I try hard not to miss my week to post. I’ve been blogging about writing almost as long as I’ve been writing seriously–and I’ve been writing seriously since 2008. In that time, I’ve sold three novels (one of which twice, and both times to companies that had enough financial and management problems that they wound up not publishing the book); I’ve seen two novels get published; I’ve been an editorial assistant, an assistant editor, a managing/associate editor, and a freelance copy editor; I’ve taught middle school writing; I’ve read thousands of short stories in slush piles; I’ve won a Hugo award; I’ve sold thirty+ short stories; I’ve had hundreds of rejections. Two weeks ago, I finally got an agent. You know, I got fired from my day job about two and a half years ago, and since then all I’ve done (besides play with kitties, hang out with my family, and bake these brownies) is write and edit and think about working in genre fiction.
And you know what? I still feel like I’m just getting started. In fact, I feel more humble today than I did however long ago we first started this blog. Writing and the work of publishing is bigger than you’d think it is. It’s about being a creator and a business person and a dreamer and a pragmatist. The more you learn, the more you learn you still need to learn.
All I really know is that you get better by doing it and thinking about it. The wisdom I can offer you today is buy a notebook. Keep track of what you want to write, and keep track of all your brilliant ideas. Talk to yourself about what thwarts your work. Remind yourself about why you like writing. Use your notebook when you need to, and the rest of the time: write.
Put words on the page.
That’s all you really need to do.