Writing Excuses 6.22: Continuing Education for Writers

Editor’s Note: This post has been written by Linda K. Strahl, an editor at the Jet Fuel Review. Her full bio can be found at the end of this post.

This week’s podcast is all about betterment of our craft. Where can we writers find workshops that give us that specific opportunity? Well the podcasts names a few: Orson Scott Card’s Literary Boot Camp, Clarion and Clarion West, Writing Superstars, Odyssey, Taos Toolbox, and Launchpad are all ways in which writers can expand their knowledge base. Now why wouldn’t we just sit down and write for hours on end rather than spend money on these various technique trainings when one of our very own podcasts hosts says that, “nothing improves your writing skills like doing more writing?”

The podcast answers that lingering question, which I paraphrase, that it is better to do something right the first time around. Rather than spending copious amounts of time doing something wrong. The group’s guest Mur Lafferty, the Grand Dame of SF podcasting, also gives the audience more than enough information from which to build on in the case of furthering a career in writing and I can see why her podcast I Should Be Writing is so successful.

They give us some great information sources online like Turkey City Lexicon, Magical Words, and Bookview Cafe, and some interesting books we writers can read, like Steven King’s On Writing, Ken Rand’s The 10% Solution, and Orson Scott Card’s Character and Viewpoint.

As the group gave the warning I felt that I should repeat it for the sake of accuracy and entertainment:

                     “learning a new thing will make writing more difficult before it makes it easier. Don’t panic.
                      Don’t think you’ve broken your brain. It’s all part of the writing process. You’ll get your mojo
                     back as soon as your brain finishes assimilating all this stuff you’ve just learned.”

Various steps to assimilating said information are suggested, but I believe it is more trial and error as the any other process, which is also personal. Enjoy the podcast on iTunes if you get the chance to download the podcast. I leave you with the audiobook and writing prompt.

Audiobook Pick-of-the-Week: Rosemary and Rue: An October Daye Novel, Book 1 by Seanan McGuire, narrated by Mary Robinette Kowal

Writing Prompt: Someone wants to go to a writing workshop but gets held up by chicken and waffles.

Editor’s Note: Linda K Strahl is a transfer student from University of Wisconsin- La Crosse, where she was studying Archaeology and minoring in Creative Writing. She came to Lewis University in Fall of 2010 to major in Creative Writing. After participating in the production of two plays at Phillip Lynch Theater she has become an enthusiastic dramaturg, and is contemplating a career as a researcher and playwriter.

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