Wednesday, July 29, 2009

After Firsts

So we talked about firsts.

Some of you are still neck-deep with your first novel, whether writing, editing or querying. Many haven't looked at their early manuscripts in ages. Others have worked and reworked with potential still looming; others yet have already found success with numero uno. Further proof we all have our own paths, yes?

But one common thought gleaned from Monday's post was that we learn incredible amounts from our first attempts. Lady Glamis said it well: "No writing is ever wasted writing." I dare say we shouldn't regret any step we've taken, any word we've written.

Another prevailing thought was, there's a next stage. We've a reason to move forward, to keep going: We write. More. Better. There are other stories to be told, and we want to tell 'em.

Great news, isn't it?

You know what else? I've never been part of such a sincere and supportive group of people. Your encouragement is somethin' else. If you're in need of a good dose today, visit the comments from my Firsts post.

Now write on!

26 comments:

Marybeth Poppins said...

I totally agree. Even if my first book doesn't get published...WOW...what a learning experience. And the people I've met. It's been a priceless journey!

Stephanie Faris said...

My first book was so lousy, I'm embarrassed to even think about it. I have it printed out somewhere and occasionally I'll try to read it just to see how far I've come. I never make it past page one!

Tess said...

My husband tells me that my best writing is still inside of me. It's what keeps me going -- encouraging and hopeful.

We'll get there, step by tiny step.

Rebecca Nazar said...

I remember the first time I submitted something, my heart beating like a rabbit's, my hands trembling. It's much easier now . . . not! Learning experience, yup.

Lazy Writer said...

I have to admit, I still love my first novel. I'm not giving up on it, but I am continuing to write. To me, after firsts, comes seconds, right?

Terri Tiffany said...

There is always a next step. We learn from each of them, don't we? I hope each book I write is better and eventually--it will get published.

Jody Hedlund said...

I like the thought of writing more and getting better with each attempt. It gives me courage to keep persevering!

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, I'm happy for you that you HAVE this support. :)

You're much more mature than me. I would have titled this post Sloppy Seconds.

Janna Qualman said...

Marybeth - Now that's a topic we didn't reach with Monday's discussion: The people we've met. But you're right, priceless.

Stephanie - I think the most important thing about that, then, is that you learned from your mistakes that you can do better. That's a lesson everyone might not pick up on.

Tess - High fives to that stellar, supportive husband of yours!

Becca - It's a heady, adrenaline-rush of an experience, isn't it?

Lazy Writer - I think that's awesome.

Terri - That's the right kind of dream.

Jody - Absolutely!

Melanie - Thank you! *giggles*

Lady Glamis said...

Something I always try to remember is that my best writing is what I'm writing now. Tomorrow it will be better. And the day after that even better. But I have to believe in what I'm doing NOW or I'd just give up altogether. I think it's important to trust ourselves enough to know when to walk away from a project and when to keep going. I think you've found that spot, and that's wonderful!

Amy said...

My first novel is on a disk in my drawer, and I hope my second (my current WIP) garners some interest. But I hear you about the supportive group part. I've "met" some wonderful people via blogging. I think we're a great bunch! ;o)

Cindy said...

I love that! We definitely have a reason to move forward and it's amazing to see the progress.

Janna Qualman said...

More wisdom from Lady! :)

Amy - That's about the same spot I'm at. Good luck!

Cindy - It helps with the forward momentum!

Melissa Marsh said...

Amen! I love the support of our little blogging community. :-)

celestialwolf said...

May our next pages be better than our last :)

Kathy said...

The problem is my first manuscript was THE book I really wanted to write. It was the story I needed to tell.

I no longer have the feedback from the one person who gave me some because my husband accidentally deleted all my emails from my previous email account. So with no feedback, I don't even know how to fix it.

I changed direction for my second novel. I switched from young adult to erotica. The biggest challenge in erotica is the descriptions. But it's fun!

Jessica said...

Yep, I think everything is learning, one way or another. :-) Thanks for posting about this. I love reading about others' journeys.

colbymarshall said...

nope, no regretting, b/c every word we write we're improving and learning.

Janna Qualman said...

Melissa - I wouldn't be where I am without it!

celestialwolf - Cheers!

Kathy - *chokes on coffee* Wow! What a switcheroo there! ;)

Sure thing, Jessica. Hope you're well. :)

Colby - *fist bump*

Shigune Matsui said...

I've tried writing a first book - it WAS terrible. I think terrible may be an understatement, and was 100+ pages of badness, urgh!! I am also looking for follwers of my blog. Could you please visit and comment on some of my posts at http://inkladendiary.blogspot.com/ ? Thanks. I'm a writer too, so I'm trying to get my voice heard. Please follow if interested!

JKB said...

You're pretty great yourself, sparky.

:-)))

Janna Qualman said...

Shigune - Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate your thoughts, and I'll check out your place now. :)

JKB - LOL! Thanks.

Kathryn Magendie said...

It is a supportive group, isn't it! *smiling*

Firsts are fun - even when stressful....!

Janna Qualman said...

Kat - Yes!

lakeviewer said...

Just writing isn't enough to improve. We need to have solid feedback and suggestions from critical friends with more skills. Usually, these are teachers who can gauge when we need encouragement or suggestions.

Friends on blogs tend to be too kind, too sweet, and too sympathetic to really help us grow.

Janna Qualman said...

Lakeviewer, you're right, and I think that goes without saying. I also think that's why, in addition to a fellowship of blogger (or online) buds, writers tend to have a team of critiquers and beta readers they turn to for just such things. They are each crucial parts to any writer's success.