Mar 26, 2012

Improving the Craft, Things Writers Can do to Continue Their Education

No matter where we are in our writer careers, we should be constantly striving to improve our craft. Whether we go back to school, take workshops, or read books, this is something we should schedule in on a regular basis.

I confess to being guilty of not doing this as much as I should lately. I do attend the local monthly Guild meetings of which I am the blog director and for which I am giving the presentation next month [on the author platform and building a blog].

I also meet with my local critique group every three weeks. Reading and critiquing their work, as well as receiving feedback on my scribblings, are valuable lessons. I confess it took time to learn to really sit and listen and not get all defensive. It took time for everybody. We have a great group now that's really constructive and productive. We've been together long enough that we're not afraid to be honest. No holds barred at this point. They make me better. That's the place the critique always comes from, to make each other better. So, thanks Word Herd! That's what we call ourselves.

Another thing I do is get together with a bunch of other awesome writer women for lunch about once a month. Several of them are contracted and making a living at writing. It's great to have such experience to learn from and to talk to about whatever is plaguing me at the moment--pricing, commas, real world marketing, etc... Thanks, Coffee Klatch.

I have many books on craft which I have only partially read or not read at all. So, that's something I'm going to fix. I will take a chapter a week and practice what it's teaching. Even if I think I know it, I will take the chapter as a lesson.

I signed up for a workshop given by a local editor in April. Whether I think I need it or not, I just might learn something if I open myself up to it. The price was cheap. Only $10 for Guild members, so I'll go and see what I can learn.

Because I should always strive to improve my writing. Even if I become as big as JK Rowling. What do you do for your continuing writing education?