One week ago I had the pleasure of attending the Northern Colorado Writer's Conference in Fort Collins, CO. It was action packed from beginning to end starting with Stephen J. Cannell giving the opening Keynote speech, to Author Todd Mitchell giving a brilliant talk during lunch Sat. and finishing up with the humor of the, On The Spot, Improv group.
There were many things I learned through the seminars, talking with other writers, and getting to know the agents. One agent, I had the pleasure of getting to know as agent Ken Sherman, from L.A. He shared a lot of great information about the business and some neat stories about his life and career.
Many of the things, he shared with me, have been floating around my subconscious, and popping into awareness at different times through the week. The main thing, that had been festering inside my brain for the last seven days, was the message that Ken shared with me and repeated several times at the conference. He said, "Just write the book that is inside you, and make it the best you can."
To me, that is the best advice I have heard from an agent. I know there are times that I am so focused on writing to please others that I need to remember why I started writing in the first part. There was this story that was inside me that just wanted to get out. I was so enthusiastic about writing it just flowed out like an unrestricted brook flowing from the side of the mountain. I really enjoyed it. Then I got wrapped up in the technical side, editing, cutting, re-writing, submitting, and more editing and re-writing. That is all necessary stuff but I started over-thinking things and being too critical about what I wrote.
Now I see what Ken meant.
Don't worry about the other stuff. It doesn't mean you don't have to edit, re-write or any of that other stuff. Just write the best book, screenplay, article, or blog you can.
It is that simple. Enjoy it.