Always Learning

My writer’s group had a workshop this weekend. It was a real treat to just go over some basics together that may be overlooked in a normal writer’s group. Our primary focus for this workshop was story arc, but we also talked about getting the reader hooked and about setting goals. 

I enjoyed the workshop and learned a lot. Some big issues we all needed help working on were:

  • Knowing when and how to get the story started
  • Making ourselves actually finish things we have started
  • Use more action and dialogue to communicate key elements instead of passive voice “info dumping”
  • Have more confidence in ourselves as writers. Learning to trust ourselves and our voice seemed to be a very common goal 

Part of our discussion was about establishing good writing habits. I’ll freely admit I was far better at this when I was in my 365 day writing challenge last year and feel I need to get back to that. I have taken on additional responsibilities at my full time job, and have a very busy family life, but I have truly missed the habits I had established of writing every day. So one of the things I decided after my workshop today was to get back to daily writing. 

Beyond a commitment to establishing a daily writing habit again, I need to set some solid writing goals for myself. Our leader asked us today what our 30 day writing goals were, what our 6 month writing goals were and what our goals were for the next year. I was nowhere near setting realistic ones, but I need to be. Where am I headed? What do I want to see happening? How will I make it happen? 

I’m still figuring it all out and I am most definitely still learning a lot, all the time. I don’t think there are many of us who aren’t still learning something new. 

Being a part of a group of other writers who are largely in the same boat has helped me immeasurably. It helps to see I am not the only one struggling with getting things finished. I am not the only one who lets doubts creep in sometimes. 

How about you? Are you still learning? Do you have a group that helps support and push you? Do you surround yourself with others who are “in the same boat” as you? Do they help you not feel so alone? I’d love to hear about it in the comments. 

Thanks & have a great week!

~CJS

3 thoughts on “Always Learning

  1. Still learning, no support group or even writing group. No person really to critique my work (and I actually thrive on that, not just compliments but constructive criticism-I so miss my Journalism lecturer, because she gave me good feedback). I also miss being in a class and having writing assignments every week. These challenges are a good way to keep at it, and I’ve piggy-backed shamelessly onto the ones I’ve read about on your blog and Shelley’s blog.

    I find writing a very solitary exercise these days…

    1. I miss being in a class too, so being in a writer’s group, which I found at the local library, has helped me immeasurably. If you can’t find something locally, an online group may be a nice alternative. I love challenges because they help give me something as a start. I’m glad you have enjoyed the ones Shelley and I have done. Thanks so much for reading and for your comments. I greatly appreciate it! 🙂

  2. Never thought about an online writing group (didn’t know that they existed), but I write fan fiction too and the comments from some of the readers really help…helps to motivate, and even to point out where I can improve.
    Blogs are great – especially when the authors interact with their readers (as you guys are). The things I’ve read have made me think of things differently and have inspired some of my own posts also.

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