Things I Wish I’d Known: The Final Installment
By J.S. Watts
When I started writing this series of guest blog posts, back in the distant mists of 2019, I wish I’d known how many posts I was going to write. Maybe I’d have structured things better, but I didn’t, so I didn’t. I just put pen to paper (yes, I write first drafts longhand. Is that an issue?) and kept on writing.
About what has subsequently turned out to be half way through, I developed a fixation on getting to seven posts. I have a memory of seven being the magic number for U.S. TV series, as in a show got syndicated after seven series. Does that still happen? But what the syndication rights of television programmes have to do with an indefinite series of blog posts, I still don’t know.
Then the publication of my next novel, Old Light, was unavoidably and unexpectedly delayed (see the sixth post in this series: Getting Published Can Take a Long, Long Time) until about the time of the seventh post and I felt I shouldn’t end things just as the book was coming out because it would look as if I had planned it that way as a marketing ploy (no planning was involved in the writing of this series, let me reassure you, and even less marketing – see the seventh post for that). So, I kept on writing and this is the result: the final post in a solid, eight post series.
However, it is starting to feel like it is time to put my pen down on these posts and rest my weary left hand (yes, not only do I write longhand, but I’m also left handed. You didn’t know I was so quirky, did you?).
There are still things I wish I’d known when I started writing, like: you can’t please all the people all the time; not everyone is going to like your writing, however good you think it is and maybe it actually is (I mean, I still don’t like Wordsworth and yet he continues to be venerated in literary circles – go figure); you’ll never really know how good your writing actually is; and writing is a life choice, not a fortune-generating career. Despite my continuing ignorance and the potential for further posts that highlight it, I feel it is time to bow out before I run out of steam and you become bored with reading this. One of the things I do know is to quit while I’m ahead. At least, I hope I’m still ahead, but I guess that’s just another thing I don’t really know.
Anyway, thank you for reading.