Recently, my focus has very much been on the business of writing: launching the new edition of AWM, programming/chairing/presenting professional development seminars, and conducting a survey of Australian literary agents.
Today I indulged in a half hour spent updating my list blog RSS subscriptions, and I came across some wonderful reflections on the craft of writing, like this one from Nathan Bransford on what makes for great dialogue:
Characters who say exactly what they mean are generic. Characters who talk around their emotions and objectives are much more interesting.
Professional development for writers involves industry training and networking. But writing is also an apprenticeship, with writers needing to gain mastery of the tools of our trade. And that means thousands of hours of on-the-job training.
Next week, I start tutoring another introductory course in creative writing. It will be a month of connecting with beginner and aspiring writers – something that brings joy and inspiration as I see writers explore their talents and gain confidence in their work. It will also be a welcome refresher course for me, where I get to immerse myself in the basics of our craft.
What do you do to keep yourself immersed in your craft: writers groups, crit groups, writers centre courses, uni degrees? Different writers need different opportunities to practice their craft at different points in their careers – as long as you are writing regularly and networking with other writers, you are on your way to mastery!