Monday, April 1, 2013

Get Smart: Learning as a Writer

What do you want as a writer?

I discovered this recently when I posted the top 5 blogs I'd written for 2012 and 2013. And what the research has taught me is that writers (most of all) want to learn.

It isn't enough for them to write until their dying day. They want to get better not only by writing but by reading and attending classes and applying what they have learned.

When have you learned that has had the most impact in your writing life?

Photo by: aflcio, courtesy of Flickr
Has it been a conference? When you've borrowed that new writing book from the library? When you've attended that class?

Do you find yourself trying new things like I do, because it's exciting to get out there and do more than sit behind the desk and write?

I LOVE attending conferences, but I also love teaching them. I love teaching one on one, but I also like the energy and ideas that a big group brings.

How do you feel about editing someone's book for free, or writing a review?

When it comes to writing and publishing, the learning curve is as much about making your writing great as it is about helping someone else to make their work great.

Photo by: Philip Taylor PT, courtesy of Flickr
When was the last time you taught a class for FREE or agreed to work with a new writer one on one for a couple of hours without asking for money?

True, if you have a business like I do, you're in it to make some money so that you don't have to get that job at McDonald's, but there is something beautiful and fine about that free visit with a writer.

I give writer's a free visit the first time they come to me for any writing service. I like to do this, because I learn quickly if the writer and I are a good fit, and I can assist them in their project even if we're not an especially good fit by directing them to someone else. I learn loads too; about writing styles, writer personalities, and what gets individuals excited about writing.

I love to give free classes too. Have you ever taught a class and realized you were learning along with the class? This happens to me all of the time.

Being smart as a writer isn't always about writing. It's about learning and it's about reaching out.

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