Saturday, January 8, 2011
In life as in writing mistakes are not necessarily bad things. In most decision situations, you should not be afraid of making a mistake. Mistakes generate experiences from which we learn. The same is true in writing, whether fiction or nonfiction. When you make a mistake in the way you try to communicate a lesson or a story, you have to use creativity to overcome and explain the situation in which you have found yourself. Most mistakes are reversible, and there are many paths to get from here to there. Midcourse corrections are not only acceptable but desirable, because they add precision to your final outcome or destination. In writing, the analog of midcourse corrections is the revision process. It is virtually impossible to author a significant book without going back and making revisions to the manuscript. In life we also have to compensate for our misstatements and misdeeds in order to achieve our goals (which may also require modification) or to get along with other people. Just remember to trust your inner moral compass and make your own mistakes rather than allow yourself to be misled by others. There are always people with little or no stake in your well-being who will try to move you off your intended course.