The question this month is "How has your creative life evolved since you started writing?"
This one is really hard. I've been writing novel length works of fiction on and off since I was 12. Not to put too fine a point on it, but I recently crossed a very BIG birthday number milestone, and to be honest, Things Haven't Changed A Lot.
Big caveat here: I have absolutely changed my writing style, but one thing has always guided me. My first novel was about the book I NEEDED. My most recent book was the book that I NEEDED. And to be fair, most of the books in between have been the book that I HAVE NEEDED.
But I have strayed from the path. I have tried to chase a trend (it did not end well, no you may not read the result). I have maybe started projects that were not in my best interest but were in the best interest of the market. They failed. Each. And. Every. One.
This has helped me refine my voice. My failures have, in one way, sort of shown me who I am, and what my wheel house is. It's been... useful, if painful. Rejection is part of the path, but what it does better than anything is show you where and how you're willing to accept rejection. Specifically: when I'm writing to the market and that gets rejected, it's MUCH WORSE. It's worse because I KNOW that I was chasing money not heart. It hurts because I sold myself short. People judged me on my lack luster work, and it was lack luster because my heart wasn't there. The dollar signs were in my eyes.
And now I know better. So that's the real thing that has evolved. I know that if I can't put the full metric force of nature that is My Heart, there is no point in trying to write that project. It will not come alive. Like the life stone of the Deathly Hallows, that project will have a half life, a cursed life. (and I don't have any unicorn blood to feed it!).
In short, the only thing I have learned is that it's not really worth writing a project unless my heart is in it. Which sounds really cliche, but it's very, VERY true.
Don't forget to visit the Ninja Captain Alex, and say hi to this month's cohosts: Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor JQ Rose Ann V. Friend and Elizabeth Seckman!