Apr 5, 2012

A to Z - Education

I think it is pretty rare that someone hasn't had a few years of college.  Remember the classes, homework, studying?  Remember when you finally found a class that piqued your interest, that you want to study, research and are just flat out fascinated by?

That same kind of passion needs to be exemplified by personal study in writing. 

There are many books out there like this list created by Jan McCallum that will definitely get you started on the craft, things that you should know, mechanics, etc. 

And, of course, there are blogs from people who just about cover any topic you could think of - marketing, querying, blogging, writing, editing.

The key is that it is our responsibility for our education.  A writer who just sits down and thinks that because there are complete sentences on a page may feel jilted very quickly when realizing that the writing the idea down may be the easiest part. 

The difference between graduating from college and graduating from writing is that we don't have the fancy little chart to outline just what needs to be accomplished to get there, and not everyone gets there the same way.  And as frustrating or daunting as it may be to realize, many, many writers have to spend the equivalent amount of time as a college degree to find the culmination of publication (which I think is the goal of most if not all writers). 

The key with the whole process is patience.  It is essential to remember that just as we wouldn't expect to go to college for six months and graduate, we can't expect to write for six months and have agents and publishers beating down our doors.  It is a process, learning patience and the craft along the way.

What ways have you found have helped your education as a writer most?  Are there books that just amazed and intrigued you?  What has been the best part of your education so far?

21 comments :

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Patience is key! I've learned a lot from those online who know so much more than I do.

Kyra Lennon said...

Much of my writing education has come from other bloggers. It amazes me how much they know and are willing to share!

Bish Denham said...

Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury and Take Joy by Jane Yolen are two books that have taught me a lot.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I dodn't like poetry at school, how I wish I had used my education to the full.

Good E post.
Yvonne.

Heather M. Gardner said...

I don't do well reading books on writing and retaining any info, but, I've taken an online editing course that really helped.
Heather

Julie Daines said...

I've read some of those books and they've been extremely helpful. Same with writing conferences. But I think it's important to remember that you have to also listen to your inner storyteller and not let someone else speak for you.

Clarissa Draper said...

What has helped me most? I think that critiques and critiques have been really helpful. Also, I have read many books on writing. But above all, practice!

Deana said...

You couldn't have said words with more truth! When I first started writing I really fought the learning part because I didn't think I had it in me to learn more, but I was so wrong. If we think we are done learning then we won't ever progress as writers. Realizing that has made all the difference:)

Donna K. Weaver said...

Oh! Oh! There was a great blog post about that addresses this. You should check it out. It was on Natalie Whipple's blog:

http://betweenfactandfiction.blogspot.com/2011/01/happy-writers-society-writers-education.html

Angela Cothran said...

I LOVE writing books!!! They are the only non-fiction I get excited about. Thanks for the list!

S.P. Bowers said...

What I won't know it all after six months???? That's the thing about education, you've never completed it. There's always something more to learn.

McKenzie McCann said...

Is it possible to graduate from writing? You can always be more successful, even if you're James Patterson who gets book trailers on TV.
TV!!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I've learned lots at writing conferences and I subscribed to a few professional magazines when I first started. Now I get most answers I need from online friends.

Elana Johnson said...

I think the best way to become a better writer is to write. Write in a way that's hard for you. You'll learn something.

Write in a new genre. You'll learn something.

Write something. You'll learn something.

Yeah, just keep writing.

Joshua said...

Syd Field's "Screenplay" was an amazing read. As was William Goldman's "Adventures in the Screen Trade."

MAJK said...

Ah Patience, always the hardest part of anything that is really wort h doing in life!

Education is a very important part of writing - thanks for this post.

*~MAJK~*
Twitter: @Safireblade
A to Z Blog Challenge

Jaycee DeLorenzo said...

I learned more online from a few writing boards than I ever did from writing books. I'm still learning by checking blogs and reading articles. Thanks for this great and informative post. Good list of books, there.


My E

Journaling Woman said...

I learn from reading other writers, writing, writing, and more writing. Oh and writing. I learn from writing. :)

T

Andrew Leon said...

My only problem with most books about how to write is that they are written by people who have never actually written anything else. With the exception of King, of course.

Rob and Lisa said...

I love Lamott's Bird by Bird, but mostly I learn through practice and reading great books.

Lisa

Diligent Writer said...

I bought the books too but I learned more from all of the social networking on blogs and writing websites. I listen and pay attention to other writers. Of course, my editor is great, and I learn from her too. Good post!!

Stacey~