Monday, October 10, 2016

You Cannot Expect Perfection In One Book

We have all heard the expression, "Practice makes perfect." In reality, this statement is not quite accurate. What we really need to be saying is "Perfect practice makes perfect." When it comes to writing, that is really what we need to be thinking. What I have seen in the last several years are so many authors who seem to be attempting to hit a home run with their first novel and think that is the one that will get them to the big time. In reality, reaching that level on the first book is an anomaly. Yes, there are people who have done it, but for the vast majority. it is not going to happen.

Being a professional writer takes time. I am not talking about taking the time to just see the money flow in. I am talking about taking the time to really understand all of the things that go into making a book great. It takes time to figure out what you are good at and what things you still need to work on.

I am always frustrated when I see authors who might have landed that great deal on their first book or series. Although it is great to see that success, the frustration comes from watching how that author acts and behaves after that first book. Somehow, there is a belief that because they scored on that first book, they have nothing more to learn. This is far from the truth.

There is always something to learn with our writing. To be a truly great author is to recognize our weaknesses and to be reminded that there is always room for change and growth. I am reminded to an idea that comes out of philosophy. I believe it is Socrates but it might have been something I just attributed to him. Regardless, the thought is still on the money.

Draw a circle. Everything inside the circle is what we know. Things on the outside not touching the circle are things we do not know and are not aware of. But, the things on the outside that are touching the circle, we know of but do not understand. Now, here is the catch. When we master those skills touching the circle and move those items inside, what happens to the size of the circle? It gets bigger and the surface area touching the circle also grows.

In other words, the more we come to understand means there is even more we need to learn.

That is what a true professional writer understands.

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