>When I think back on my experience writing Once Upon A Dream, I realize that I was very naive in my writing. If I compare what I know now to what I knew then with writing – I shake my head in amazement that I my book was ever published. But then I take a good look at my writing today and wonder why it’s taking me so long this time around.

Here are 10 things that I’m glad I never knew about writing:

1. Wrote in first person. Seemed so easy for me to create a character that I knew inside and out. Her thoughts became my thoughts, I began to experience things the way Wynne would – I was her and she was me.

2. I just wrote until it was finished. I didn’t worry about word count, how many words on a page, where to place chapters, how long the book had to be. I just wrote.

3. I didn’t focus too much on grammar and verbs. I just wrote. I figured I would catch it when I did my edits or hope that a friend would catch it for me.

4. I only did two drafts – the first I just wrote, the second I edited. Really didn’t change much. Never thought about ensuring the tightness of each sentence.

5. Had NO idea that the first 5 sentences and first 5 paragraphs were the most important in a story.

6. Write a query and synopsis? What were those? Nope, didn’t write them, didn’t know how and still got published.

7. I create a prologue – something I just read most agents hate in a story.

8. Show vs telling? What is that? I just wrote each scene so that the reader felt they were there, a part of what was happening. I knew to be descriptive and I thought that would be enough.

9. I never thought about creating an outline for the story. I knew in my head how I wanted Wynne to go from point A to point Z, and I figured we’d discover all the other points together as we wrote.

10. From start to finish, it only took me 6 months to write my story. Not long.

So, my point? My first book took only 6 months to write and when I submitted it to a publishing contest – I had no idea that I shouldn’t have. I just wrote because I discovered my love for it. I didn’t worry about all the rules and the right or the wrong way to do things. I just wrote (did you get that?).

My second book – it’s taken me 2 years in total. Yes, life got in the way, so really I’ve only been working on it for 9 months now, but I’m more conscious now of writing, ensuring that each paragraph I write is essential to the story line, that my characters are developed, that my back story is woven into the story instead of offered in the beginning.

I made a decision last month to go back to the way I was before I began to educate myself and just write because I fell in love with my characters. I’m just writing now. I’m in love with my story, my characters are affecting me in ways I didn’t know was possible and I can’t wait to complete it so I know exactly how it will all end. I’ll worry about the edits after it’s all completed. I’ll study agents closely, write an awesome synopsis and query before I even thinks about sending out my book. But that will all come later.

Right now – I’m just going to write. Write because I love to write, because it keeps me awake at nights, because new stories, new characters are constantly opening up to me in my head. I write because I have to.