Writing as a Craft - podcast

Each of us has felt at least one as if we were foundering in a sea of writing advice, not knowing which is valuable and which is not. While we all find our way, sometimes it helps to take a more formal approach. Author Eric Penz likes to think of writing as a craft, because it is a skill that one must practice to improve. And while apprenticeships may be scarce, there are other oppotunities to learn, which he discusses.
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  • Wonderful! Thank you Eric. Thinking about story telling as a craft is a much better way of thinking about it. I get it. I am a hairdresser by trade and completely understood your point. Thank you for defining it.
  • At first reading, I had the same reaction as Ansie. I was hoping for more details, such as Kokab provided. As I thought about it, though, I realized that Eric is right. We new writers need to find masters whom we can follow and from whom we can learn. The power of the age in which we live is that we do not have to become indentured servants to great masters. We have access to virtually everything on the Internet. There are many books and articles available online that can teach the rules of writing and storytelling. Like Eric, I have taken courses on writing that have helped me learn composition, grammar, the structure of fiction, and so forth. These are the elements of the craft of writing. What books cannot teach me, however, is the art of good writing. For that, I have to do two things: write, and have people who know good writing give me feedback on what I write. I need conversations about my writing. Whether it is a professor, a colleague, a writers' club, or an author's circle. We cannot learn to write in a vacuum.
  • Thank you. If you liked my nine points, you may also be interested in my short book 7 Steps to Improving Your Writing http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BEONXI2 .
  • Kokab -- your 9 points are great, thanks! I particularly think writing prompts and exercises are a great way to stay sharp and hone a craft between projects.
  • Hi Ansie -- I found his thoughts to be useful. I like his distinction between writing vs. storytelling and then he pretty much tells us what is true... to learn to be a master at something, it's best to find other masters to learn from. He mentions college education programs but there are also writer's retreats and workshops with experienced writers, all over the country. It's also easy these days to find great conferences where you can meet quality writers and editors. And even in addition to 'experts' like that, it's important to find people near us to give us feedback and support as we pursue the craft. Writing and critique groups are great for this. Online writing communities are another great resource as we develop our writing chops, including here at the Author Learning Center and www.BookCountry.com. I think in the end, Eric's point is that seeing writing as a craft is a mindset. It is what allows us to be dedicated, to do what it takes the become the best we can be at something. Sometimes we just need a reminder to keep pursuing that goal.