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What do you wish you knew when you first started writing?

Well, I'd like to have known that I'd be successful!  That would have removed a lot of stress.  Though actually, according to stories I've read, nothing good ever seems to come of knowing that sort of thing ahead of time.  Seeing the future tends to be a bad thing in speculative fiction.

On a more serious note, I'm rather pleased with how things have gone. There is no magic secret or bit of advice that makes someone into a better writer.  You have to go step by step, trying out new tools, and slowly learning to be a writer.  There is no replacement for experience, so I'm not sure there's anything I wish I'd known when I started.

I AM glad that I received early advice not to focus too much on any one story or book. Instead, the goal of my early writing years was to learn how to write.  That allowed me to move between projects easily, and not get hung up too much on any one flaw I discovered.