My first eight books were written and published before I knew anything about writing. Now that I can almost distinguish good writing from bad, my ambitious, carefully crafted new novel languishes without agent or publisher. It's been eight years, but I'm still rewriting, more hopeful than ever. Writing is all about hope, because with it comes the confidence to sit down day after day with bottom in chair, hands on keyboard (BICHOK).
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. My trouble began when I paid a man to read my sixth Plumtree series novel for accuracy in British English. He pointed out an unfortunate "chime" in the prose, meaning the way words sounded in proximity to each other. At the time I had no idea what he meant, and as I sought understanding, my journey began into the depths of all that I didn't know. I undertook an ambitious novel that I wanted to make truly beautiful in a hundred different ways. It's taken a dozen drafts, constructively scribbled upon by fellow Sisters of the Quill--thank you sisters and brother--to raise my awareness. I'm too horrified now to go back and read the earlier books with all their painful mistakes. In writing as in other aspects of life, we can only forge ahead and use what we learn to do better next time.
Here's cause for hope: if an untrained, bumbling neophyte can stumble (unfortunate chime?) into publication, you who have apprenticed yourselves to your craft should be shoo-ins.