In a few of my past blogs I talked about joining writer groups to help with critiques and support information for your work in progress. Another way to get help and support is to share information via social media. So a couple of things about "blogging."
A few weeks ago I purchased a book called "Blogging For Writers" and was amazed to read comments, stories, and suggestions that motivated me to make some changes to my blog. If you use Blogger or WordPress, this reference may give you a few ideas to launch a blog, or just improve one that you may already have.
If you enjoy blogging and reading other writers thoughts on writing, you may want to look at M.Louisa Lock's blog. She is the author of the San Francisco Mystery Series. Another good blog to visit for comparison, is Elizabeth Spann Craig's.
And one last item. If you find a blog you enjoy, subscribe. That way you are notified of the newest blogs as they hit the internet.
I was watching an interesting program on the History Channel a couple of weeks ago when it dawned on me that I have lots and lots of photos I could share on my blog. The theme of the show I watched was "The Curse of Bodie," which really seems to exist. To activate the curse, all one needs to do is visit the town, then take home a keepsake (which will soon rain down bad karma until the keepsake is returned).
The town as it stands today allows us to look back into history without living under the harsh conditions endured by its earliest inhabitants.
Wouldn't it be nice if we all knew each and every aspect of good writing? Looking back at the masters, I wonder if they knew exactly what they were doing, or if perhaps they may have been making up the rules as they went along.
Today, we can delve into this cataclysm of knowledge by taking classes that can present much of the tried and true methods that work or have been tried and failed; but the real key is the drive of the writer. There are many writers driven to write the next Pulitzer Prize winning novel, but for each one of them, there are thousands if not hundreds of thousand who write just for the sake of telling a story. That story could be based on fact or pure fiction, it doesn't matter, its still a story, one that haunts the writer until he or she has satisfied that inner desire to share it with you and I.
Are you that type of person? Are you motivated by some inner desire to tell the world a story? If you are, you are in good company!
It seems as if everyone you know is working on that next novel, short story, or poem. Writing (almost anything) has become extremely popular. According to Bureau of Federal Labor Statistics, there are about 281,000 people working as professional writers (remember that doesn't include students, enthusiasts, and those who write just for the fun of it.
I place myself in the last category, but many of you may want to pursue writing as a career. If you are a newcomer to writing, there are lots of self help books out there that can take you through a basic understanding of the mechanics needed to become proficient. There are also classes you may want to take (and I highly recommend a creative writing course—which can be taken at most community colleges) that will not only expose you to different types of writing, but also will help you interact with others who share the same basic writing interest.
Another helpful tool you can use is the group critique. Many colleges have support groups that meet outside of the classroom and cater to sharing feelings about new writers works (most of these critique poetry, short stories, novels, and non-fiction). Since I live in Northern Nevada (Carson City), I belong to a professional group associated through Western Nevada Community College. Lone Mountain Writers, founded by Professor Emeritus Marilee Swirczek in 1991, held their first meeting in December 1992. The group shares critiques in a wonderful supportive atmosphere.
Also, by reaching out to other writers, you may find yourself in the company of published authors, as did I when I joined the Lone Mountain Writers. Wilma Counts, best known for her Regency works, is a delightful regular in our group. Scott Neuffer, our resident poet, joined the group early this year. The group is rich with diverse discussion on the fundamentals of creative writing as well as years of educational instruction from several of the members.
I will visit different writing topics in my upcoming posts. I hope you have enjoyed our visit!
Last fall I took a writing course at our community college. I learned a lot and really enjoyed myself. I discovered that writing gives me freedom. Freedom to create whatever I want. I can tell a true story based on actual people, places, and time or I can make up or invent characters and places, and put them in a make-believe world. My choice. But no matter what I create, it is mostly for my own enjoyment and accomplishment.
You are probably thinking "How do you know if you are becoming a better writer?" Well, I've joined a local writer's group here in Carson City, Nevada. I's a splendid group with a very diversified collection of backgrounds, education, and opinions. We meet every two weeks and we usually critique four works from submissions within our group. It is a great way to get feed-back on your work and style. The group is known as Lone Mt Writers.
Within the next few weeks I will be sharing some of my thoughts as a new writer. As with any new venture, there is a lot to learn, but as many will agree, learn by doing!