I Don’t Know What I Don’t Know

A friend has a favorite saying: People don’t know what they don’t know.

Sometimes a piece of writing is declined with the comment, “Not quite ready for publication.” My first response is always, “Tell me what’s wrong and I’ll fix it.” But that supposes I have the skills and knowledge to fix it.

I’m starting to see that I don’t know what I don’t know when it comes to writing and crafting fiction. I know a whole lot more than I used to. And I’m learning more all the time. But it’s becoming comical because the more I learn, the more I see there is to learn and the more I feel I will never learn enough to be able to write publishable fiction.

Which is not true. I’ve published non-fiction and short fiction. I’ve won contests and awards. I can do it. It’s just hard darned work. And it takes time.

I’ve heard writing teachers say that writers have to write a million words before they write publishable words.

In Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, he states that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become world class at anything.

I’m about 750,000 words and 7,500 hours into this. I’m close. I just have to keep working and learning and writing.

If only I knew what I didn’t know, I’d know what to focus on.

Today I prayed for: Amber, Taryn, Evelyn, Katie, and Bud Paxson

Currently reading: Between books. Maybe The Historian or … 


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1 comment:

  1. Carrie,
    I've been told it takes writing/revising/polishing at least three books before a writer begins to "get it." That may not be true, but it was for me, although the number actually was four.
    I know you're close. And there's so much involved in getting published that we writers can't control anyway. Hang in there.