Someone once asked me why I was doing yet another writing course when I already have numerous published books – via Winter Goose Publishing – plus an audiobook, as though being a published author is the pinnacle of my desires. My short answer was, there is always something new to learn, always the need to improve, and a desire to hone my skill with every novel I write.
On reflection, this has been a way of life for me. As a qualified nurse, I was always undertaking short courses to learn the latest techniques or understand a medical condition in more depth. I even studied for a degree in child and adolescent mental health whilst working. The desire to learn never stops as knowledge isn’t static, it evolves, and I want to evolve with it.
This current course at The Novelry – A Book in a Year course – has taught me to embrace Grammarly, which I wouldn’t want to be without now, but I have eschewed Scrivener for now as it’s one tech step too far for me. I am a notebook – the beloved Moleskine – notecards, sticky notes, and mind map kind of gal. That’s not to say I won’t try it at some point – I’m just not ready right now.
A downside of studying the art of writing in depth is that it tends to make me doubtful of my ability to write. I am an avid reader, and each time I start a new book, I can’t help comparing my work to the one I am reading. It can sometimes take the pleasure of reading away briefly. There are also so many conflicting views on the rules of writing. Louise Dean at The Novelry prefers to say ‘tools not rules’ which is something I am trying to embrace as I navigate the sea of knowledge to find my own way to the island of literary bliss.
Happy Word Flow One & All
2 thoughts on “Honing my craft”
I understand so well, Hemmie. I too feel a constant urge to improve myself, but then am left feeling even more inadequate at times after a course or a workshop. Often inspired, but occasionally it feels like I’m regressing instead of progressing. But maybe that simply means that I’ve honed my critical skills, so I’m more demanding?
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You always have a remarkable way of writing when I read your blog posts, far superior to mine! Maybe that is what we are doing; I hadn’t seen it that way. Listening to well-accomplished authors when they give a talk at The Novelry, they all say that writing the next novel is always as hard as writing the previous one – it never gets any easier. Perhaps this is something we must learn to live with!