Something new is always exciting. Even if sometimes it's a scary kind of exciting, like escaping from Syria. But my exciting experience this week is beginning a course in Writing Fiction from the Open University, somewhere in England.
I've been working on my novel for about eighteen months now, and have gone through three drafts before sending it to my beta-readers, two of whom have provided feedback good enough to send flutters through my tummy and bring tears to my eyes.
My approach to learning is first of all, to assume that I don't know everything; in fact, I may know very little about writing fiction. As long as I keep my mind open to what the instructors have to offer, chances are excellent that I will absorb some of their wisdom and apply it to my own work.
At a workshop I attended last May in Virginia, USA, the facilitators, both professional writers/editors, emphasized that if we weren't prepared to hear tough news, perhaps we weren't ready to be published writers. Note that important word: published. If a writer decides he or she "doesn't care" what the critics say and opts to self-publish and have a few dozen copies printed for friends and family, is that satisfying? For me, it most assuredly would not satisfy! I want an agent, a contract, and a published book in that order, with more to follow.
It's not easy, the experts say. And they are right. Those who work hardest and persist, are most likely to be successful. I intend to be one of them.