by Anne R. Allen
Ruth and I like to say we made all the writing career mistakes so you don’t have to. I figure that I’ve collected nearly the full set of authorial faux pas since I embarked on a writing career.
So today I’m offering a list of some of the things I wish I hadn’t done when I was starting out.
I’m not saying these are always “mistakes” or that they will inevitably lead to disaster, but they did slow me down on my path to a career as an author.
1) Believing an Avid Reader is Automatically Going to be a Good Writer
When I started out I was sure I didn’t need no stinking critique groups. I was a voracious reader! I read tons of literary fiction and classics. Plus I got a perfect score on my English SAT. I’d even taken a class in playwriting at my prestigious Ivy League college.
Of course I knew how to write a novel!
Oh, the wasted hours…
Don’t do this.
Thinking you can write novels because you read a lot of them is like thinking you can play for the NFL because you’re a big fan of Monday Night Football.
Take classes, read books on craft, read writing blogs, go to writers’ conferences or join a critique group. Or all of the above. Writing in a vacuum is going to waste a lot of time.