With this year drawing to a close there are many things I’ve done in the past year that I’m proud of, but there are others that I need to get done still.
I’ve written another book. My second. I feel like I’ve accomplished something by finishing two book and I’ve learned more about the writing process and how to approach a first draft, research, learning while I write–I’ll get to this–and I’ve read books that have helped me a lot with my writing.
The First Draft.
A first draft is like a kid, if you don’t have a kid think of your pet. If you don’t have a pet, I don’t know what to tell you.
Anyway, it’s like a kid. You want it to grow, do well and get strong while you nurture and guide it. This is something I didn’t think about with my first book. I wanted to write it and not worry about the details, which is one of the reasons it’s still on the shelf.
With this book I worked at it, but I had fun. When I wasn’t having fun I took a day off from writing to clear my head. It helped, but the research helped a lot too.
Learning to Research.
Research on the subject helped a lot, though there were only a few things I needed to research I learned that I shouldn’t devote so much time to research. It bogs me down and I get bored with the project quickly.
Research in any writing project is a necessity, but it shouldn’t take away from the creative process itself. If it does, stop researching and write.
Learning and Improving.
When I set out to write this book I was not intent on improving my writing, it just happened that way. I’ve learned so much from writing this book.
I’ve learned more about how my brain works when I write. I’ve found that my writing is more important to me than almost anything. Writing time is sacred, something my wife and kids have learned to deal with, even if they don’t like it.
Books That Helped Me Improve.
The idea that reading books with good writing helps you write better is true. I’ve read a lot of books in the last year which helped define my writing style.
I’ve read David Brin’s Existence, which blew me away. I’ve read Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere and Anansi Boys and Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.
I’ve also read a couple books that made me cry. The Fault in our Stars by John Green, the Road by Cormac MacCarthy.
I’ve taken a little from each of these. The writing in all of these is amazing and I can’t wait to read more from Ernest Cline and Daniel H. Wilson.
It’s been a great year, and 2013 is going to be better.