Things I Wish I’d Known: An Introduction
By J.S. Watts
A while back, I wrote a series of posts for this blog called “Questions I Don’t Like Answering”. Now, with Mark Meier’s continued indulgence, I’m about to embark on another series, this time called “Things I Wish I’d Known.” I’m intending these new posts to be (relatively) short pieces about things I wish I’d known earlier in my writing experience (I’m loath to write “writing career” because I’m no longer sure how possible it is for most writers to have a career, in the truest sense of the word, but this will be one of the things I’ll be exploring at some stage in the series). I’m intending that the posts will consider the writing and publishing process in particular and life in general, but as I haven’t written them yet, who knows where they will end up.
I should probably explain that when I say (or write - this is a blog post) “know”, I don’t just mean know factually or intellectually, but truly know, understand or grasp at a gut or bone-deep level. Many of the things I wish I’d known when I started out as a writer I did in fact “know”, i.e. someone had told me or I’d read it somewhere (possibly in a blog post like this one). Knowing the facts, however, isn’t always the same as understanding something, experiencing it for yourself or coming to terms with it, as I have sometimes discovered to my cost. So perhaps, rather than calling this series “Things I Wish I’d Known”, I should be titling it “Things I Wish I’d Understood Emotionally”, but that doesn’t sound so snappy. Hopefully, having read this introduction, you’ll know where I’m coming from.
The first thing I wish I’d known is the truth about rejection. I admit I’ve written about the subject of rejection elsewhere and on a number of occasions, but it’s such an integral part of the writing experience (unless you are self-published and never submit to magazines or are just very, very lucky) that my second post in this series will focus on it.