The Murderati Blog has a post from Alison Brennan on the need to put 10,000 hours of practice into something before your good at it. The book Outlier delves into this concept as well.
The more I write the more I realize I still have a lot to learn. When I first started, I guess you could say I was, I don't know, maybe a dabbler? I spent a lot of time learning and reading about writing and the writing business but little time actually producing any measurable word count. I wrote all over the place, short contemporary, romantic suspense, mysteries. Lines folded and the market changed and I'd switch to something else. I think I was looking for the "easy" story. One that would pour out of me as I imagined happened with the great writers. Surely, Lucy Maude Montgomery, didn't sit around agonizing over every little word?
A couple of years ago I decided to focus on one genre, short contemporary, specifically Silhouette Desire. And I finally started finishing and revising and sending out. I've had some interest, requests for fulls, great feedback and revision suggestions. I've also sent a first chapter to the Presents contest and received feedback but no request to see the rest of the story - just send us something else. Since I can turn those ideas into a Desire and my rejected Desire into a Presents, I still kept writing the short contemporaries with an alpha hero. That has kept me focused and driven for the better part of two years. A final rejection on that last MS has left me floundering to find the dedication that propelled me to write everyday.
Now I sit with a new MS that's proving to be hard work once again. It wants to turn itself into a longer book, with subplots and lots of secondary characters and it's made me anxious that I'm writing the wrong thing for me. And then I get anxious because I don't write fast enough and the world is passing me by and I'm letting opportunities slide as I sit here and waffle. Or am I just using excuses so that I don't have to tackle the hard work of battling my MS into a sale-able book? Hmm, I think I might have stumbled onto something interesting with that last observation.
Do you question the type of book you're writing? Do you write in multiple genres? Have you put in 10,000 hours yet?