Some things in life, you learn by doing – there’s no substitute for practice. No amount of theory and history of the field presented in the classroom, no deep dive into the science behind it or the regulations and best practices concerning the field, can actually produce a good welder, or pilot, or shooter, or potter, or mechanic, plumber, farmer, dancer, clothing designer, loadmaster, teacher… or author.
You have to put in the time doing the work, learning the variables, seeing the results, making errors and having failures as well as successes, working in less-than-optimal conditions, and learning, always learning.
This means when Blake asks who has reference books they learned from, I had an entire shelf (I’m a geek; I like research)… but even so, I will ruefully say not only are there far better writers than me who have read far fewer books on writing, but also that I have improved most by writing. Last year, on Jan 20th, I decided I was going to write every day, even if it was only 10 words in a day. This did not go nearly as smoothly as hoped (what in 2020 did?), but after not getting a book finished since 2018, I managed to finish one book, and a novelette. Then I started on a steep learning curve of another book, one that took 8 months to finish in 2021. This year, I got a second novel, and a short story done. Even my Calmer Half, as he works at formatting the books for ebook and print, notes that I have gotten significantly better in the past two years.
I’d hoped to have a new book available for sale to show you, but KDP is objecting to… something. G-d alone knows what this time, but we’ll work our way through it, and get the latest two out.
In the meantime, I shall endeavour to keep writing, even if it is only 10 words a day.
What are your writing goals? Are you meeting them?