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!

4 Responses to “The craft of writing…”

  1. Gary Kemble,

    Mostly online stuff these days. Reading articles such as those posted above. Cherrypicking ideas that I think will help me refine my writing style.

    Also, picking up ideas by reading authors who I admire.


    • Meg,

      I agree, Gary – the online environment is fertile ground for writers – so much good info,, and so many incredible writers contributing (like you!).

  2. Marion Martineer,

    I like to immerse my spare time in anything written or to do with writing. If I’m not jotting notes that have just sprung into my head. I’m reading about what fellow writers have been doing on facebook or blogs. It inspires me to keep going. I read to know it will be worth it and write to know I can inpire others too. My novel is slowly taking form and next month I will also be teaching an introduction to creative writing for ACE classes at Mt Gravatt, hopefully we get some enrollments! I am really looking forward to it. I have co-ordinated support groups for the last five years for the Gold Coast Writers’ Association, which takes away from writing time but inspires me too. Its a win-win!

  3. Meg,

    Fantastic, Marion – good luck for your course!

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