Saturday, December 21, 2013

Writing Regrets

*Edited in 2016

Now that 2013 is coming to an end, a lot of people are focusing on their regrets from the past twelve months. From the things that didn't work out so well (Diets? Relationships? New career?) to the things that they regret not even trying, (Diets? Relationships? New career?) it seems like most people have some kind of year-end remorse. And while some dwell on it and create their own personal hell pit of shame, others simply shrug their shoulders, wrinkle their nose and say, 'Well, there's always next year."

True that.

As a writer, I have some regrets.

1. Lack of character diversity in my first two books
One of the biggest reasons why I moved to Vancouver in 2010 was because I wanted to be exposed to and learn about many different cultures. Having grown up and later living in communities that didn't represent much in the way of diversity, I felt as though I was not getting a realistic representation of the world. Looking back, one of my biggest regrets is that my first two books didn't show much in the way of that diversity.  For that reason, I've made extra efforts in my more recent books to incorporate more character variety. I'm a little ashamed of myself for not having done so sooner, especially when an all-white, all-straight character lineup, doesn't at all reflect the people in my own life let alone, the world around us.

2. The happily ever after endings
Feel free to roll your eyes at any time, cause I sure am! I hate those 'Hollywood' endings that you see on made for TV movies and yet, I felt pressured to do exactly that with my first two books. Not to suggest that I would've preferred the endings to be a brutal, bloody mess, but I'm not so sure I should've made the endings so sugary sweet either. Just sayin'.

3. Edits
Although it is true that I could probably rewrite every one of my books ten zillion times and never be completely happy, I'm also not happy with the edits for my first book. It was actually quite disappointing since I hired someone (and paid a shit load of money) to take care of that side of things, in the end, it wasn't up to the standard I had hoped. I realize I was new to the publishing world and was fumbling around cluelessly, but in the end, I must take responsibility for this lack of professionalism.

Again, I think it is important to be honest when you made bad choices and hold yourself accountable. Having said that, I also think there are times to simply accept your old decisions as they are and write them off as life lessons. Hey, no one is perfect and my journey as a writer has been a collection of lessons and learning experiences. I didn't start with a degree in English. I had little knowledge of the publishing business. I didn't have an agent or traditional publishing house to help guide me on the most appropriate way to get my career off the ground. I learned about marketing, (social media and otherwise) creating a website, dealt with publishing issues, got my books into libraries and many other aspects of this industry, on my own. And I'm still learning.

And I think that just may be the perfect way of looking at life as well: we aren't perfect but we are always learning. And as long as you are learning, then there is nothing to regret.

Canadian author Mima is known for her complicated and diverse characters, a dark style and for never shying away from controversial topics. To request an interview or if you are interested in doing a book review, please send requests here  

Mima is the author of Fire and the prequel, A Spark before the Fire, as well as The Rock Star of Vampires  Her Name is Mariah and Different Shades of the Same Color. Join Mima on Facebook, TwitterG+ and Goodreads also, check out her Amazon Author Page

For some reading, check out her blogs – personal or writing

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