Working through the second draft of my fourth novel, I've noticed some things about my writing. I'm not dead yet. I'm getting better.
The dialogue is better, the pacing is tighter, the characters are deeper. I've actually come across a few lines that really seemed good. Did I write that? Oh, yeah. I did. Aren't I the greatest?
I also notice some things I need to work on. I need to work on my dialogue, my pacing, my characterization. I've come across a few lines that really didn't seem good. Did I write that? Oh. Yeah. Ew.
Writing is like anything in life: You can always get better. I think the first step to realizing how to get better is to realize that you can get better. I never want to become the author who thinks he has it all figured out. I've written eighty bestsellers now and whatever I write should be published instantly because readers everywhere will love it and they should love it because I am Me and Me is amazing and no I will not remove those adverbs.
The day I think I've got it all figured out as a writer is the day I become stale. I don't like stale things. They're not yummy. I don't want to be un-yummy.
So I pull out the soap and the washcloth and scrub away at my manuscript. I'll get it cleaned up. I'll make it the best I can. I'll give it everything I've got. And when all is said and done and the book is published and readers are using it as kindling, I will have learned how to become a better writer because I will never think I know it all.
Because I don't.
I know that.