I've learned so much in the world of writing, and I am eternally grateful to the blogging world for that. I have to confess that I had a most illogical, preconceived notion that I overcame, thanks to other bloggers. The idea was that I shouldn't have to read a book on how to write. If it didn't come naturally, I shouldn't be doing it. Little did I know that it was a skill that needs refining, just like a surgeon must be taught how to operate, and there's nothing wrong with learning to write from a book. In fact, it's a very good way to learn. The books out there are written by proven authors with success stories. I'm getting the words straight from people who I would love to meet and talk to, but probably never will.
One book I had heard of several times was Bird by Bird. I starting reading it, and have had more than one epiphany along the way. First of all, that getting published, while a worthy goal, is not the ultimate guarantee of writer happiness that I believed it to be. It almost felt like a weight being lifted off of me to hear someone say that. I write because I feel I must. It shouldn't matter if it achieves the ultimate success or not. Next, I'm not the only one who writes crappy first drafts. Not everyone is a Hemingway with the first penned words except me. It's okay to start out bad and get better.
One thing I regret is not starting sooner. For so many years I put it off because I was having babies, working, and finishing my degree at the same time. I wouldn't allow myself to do it until I had my degree finished. It's been two and half years now, and my youngest will be in school full time this fall, so I'm finally satisfying my lifelong desire to write.
Whatever comes of it, I won't regret the journey.