I decided to torture myself earlier this week, and started editing a manuscript that I'd penned in 2007. I'm telling you, a lot can change in five years. It's probably not the worst thing I've ever written, but it's definitely a contender. I had poor character motivations, scene transitions were atrocious, and two of my main characters were whiny little bitches. In short, it's a train wreck.
But I'm not lost on the beauty of a train wreck.
I've written at least a dozen novels since then, my skills improving with each one. I put my time in—probably close to 40 hours a week poring over manuscripts, regeritating thoughts, creating new worlds that I long to be a part of. I've made writing the center of my life, and it has paid off. That being said, there's still room for improvement. That's the great thing about art—you can always do something more, push yourself in ways you never thought possible.
I hear all the time that if you want to be a great writer, you have to read. Yeah, I agree with this... to an extent. If you're spending all of your time reading, you're not writing. In my humble opinion, if you want to be a great writer, you have to write. That's the bottom line. You have to sit down and immerse yourself in fantasy and let the words flow from your fingertips. You have to actually write—and you have to do it all the time.
I've recently picked up Bloodline 4: Alles—my favorite of the Bloodline series—and am working my way through the last hundred pages or so. While my skills as a storyteller have vastly improved in the last five years, there's still pressure to make this novel absolutely perfect. Why is that? Because some day you'll be reading it, and it would break my heart if I were to disappoint you.