Because Learning is Always a Good Thing
There is no such thing as being done learning. You absolutely CANNOT educate yourself too much. Fact. There really should be no arguing with that statement (although there are those out there that will try).
I believe that I can always learn new or better ways to succeed in my writing, and I have been seeking some of this out through online avenues, books on writing, and a variety of different class or lecture style options. There are a large number of people who have done this all long before my atoms came together on this planet, and an equally large number of people who even started when I did, that have figured quite a few things out that I could stand to learn from them all.
While I believe that we should live our lives from the mindset of continuous learning I don’t believe that we should have to reinvent the wheel – so here are some of the resources I’ve found in the last week that I intend to look into. If anyone out there has found others I’d love to hear about them, feel free to share in the comments or shoot me a note and I’ll look into them and add some details for a later post.
Masterclass – from chefs to filmmakers to authors or musicians, there is a class for everyone interested in learning something new. I signed up for a one year all access membership for $180, and while that seems steep it covers unlimited access for a 12-month period. In addition you can choose to buy a single Masterclass that you’re interested in for $90 which makes the $180 a pretty great deal if it’s something you’re already interested in checking out. One thing I really like is that each Masterclass gives you downloadable lessons that go with the lectures from the presenter, so you have some concrete material to look at offline as well.
Less of a resource but still something I had fun with is a site that I discovered through the Neil Gaiman Masterclass called I Write Like. This site allows you to enter a passage of your writing and it analyzes the words against an algorithm and tells you what author your writing style compares with. This is pretty neat because it can be helpful when trying to understand your author’s voice – which is, ultimately, why Neil Gaiman shares it in his lesson. (I ran a few of my samples through, and was quite excited to get back Agatha Christie and Stephen King on mine.)
Some sites I find helpful when you are banging your head against a wall:
The Write Life provides some calming insight from those who have been there, done that.
Carol Tice has a site called Make a Living Writing that gives new and experienced freelance writers a leg up towards success all the while talking about her own past struggles and triumphs.
And last, but not least, books that I have read, started reading, or have picked up with the intention of reading (and Amazon links – although there are a wide variety of places you can find them in print):
Stephen King’s “On Writing” (Find it on Amazon)
William Strunk and E.B. White’s “Elements of Style” (Find it on Amazon)
Zachary Petit’s “The Essential Guide to Freelance Writing” (Find it on Amazon)
Gabriel Pereira’s “DIY MFA” (Find it on Amazon)
Paula Munier’s “Writing With Quiet Hands” (Find it on Amazon)
These lists are by no means the be all end all of writer’s resources – I have a few new books in my Amazon cart already, and am always on the lookout for new sites that can help, because no matter where we are on our journey we can benefit from a helping hand.