How to Learn How to Write

As usual, literary agent Rachelle Gardner gives some great advice in a short amount of space.  This post is on learning how to write.  How do you do that?

The advice below is really good, but I’m also inclined to believe that some people are born with a gift for writing – a natural talent or inclination.  I suppose almost any skill is like that.  Some people pick up certain sports, or subjects, or skills easily, while other people have to work really hard to achieve the same (or lesser) results.

Any thoughts on that?

I think the answer is that you have to be scrappy, and you have to learn any which way you can. You piece it together. You take the lessons where you can find them. This could mean:

→ You read books on writing, and books in the genre in which you write.

→ You are a member of writers’ organizations and online forums.

→ You take workshops offered whenever and wherever you can find them.

→ You take creative writing classes, like at a local community college (although I’ve heard these can be a waste of time).

→ You have a critique group (this may or may not help, depending on the qualifications of your critique partners, as well as your own personality).

→ You submit your project to agents and editors, hoping for scraps of feedback.

→ You pitch your project at conferences, again hoping for feedback.

→ You enter your manuscripts in contests, hopefully getting feedback as part of the contest results.

→ You take advantage of the “paid critiques” offered at most writers conferences.

→ You hire a professional editor to evaluate or edit your project

→ You find someone to mentor you and walk alongside you for a time.

→ You simply write and read and write and read and trust your instincts.

So like I said, you piece it together. Wish I had a magic bullet for you, but I don’t. You have to make it happen.

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