Writing is Learning

Since I returned from my trip of learning I’ve not written a word of fiction. Suddenly it seems like I still have so much to learn that everything I may have written so far is just plain rubbish. Of course, that’s the whole point, isn’t it? Writing is learning process – we learn by writing. If this is the case, then I must have learnt a whole lot because I’ve done more writing in the past year than I have since I was a teenager noting down my emotional angst.

But: what have I learned? It’s all well and good knowing that by writing I am progressing, yet if I don’t reflect on it then what am I really understanding about this process?

Here are a few things I think I’ve learnt over the last year or so just by writing more often.

  • Self-motivation is a key ingredient when attempting to write a novel
  • Some words are always better than no words
  • Characters will sometimes not fit into that tiny little box you have crammed them into, and if they do then they’re probably not a fully-rounded character
  • Day-dreaming is a legitimate activity that exercises the creative mind
  • Writing isn’t easy for anyone – there always tends to be at least one element that doesn’t come naturally
  • The difference between show and tell is like the difference between a movie and an instruction booklet
  • Setting goals for which rewards are necessary makes for a pleasant writing life
  • No matter what: if you’re writing, you are a writer

There are probably lots more that I haven’t remembered, but these are the ones that spring to mind right now. I feel like I should be noting down these little gems of advice whenever I come across them in my writing, just so that I can list them up to either remind myself why I love doing this or to help me in my editing process.

I suppose if I think about it the one key piece of advice I would give to those people striving to be a writer is to keep writing…and that’s a tip I should probably take to heart today.

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6 responses to “Writing is Learning

  1. Sounds like your confidence is a little battered after going to that conference. Its ok. Take your time, be easy on yourself and don’t think you have to figure it all out right away. A little at a time. And don’t forget why you write. 😉

    • Yes, thank you. It has knocked me a little, but at the same time it’s bolstered my reserve. I really do want to write – and I do write, regularly. Therefore I am a writer. 8o)
      Those four words are why I want to keep on writing.
      Thanks for your support.
      Take Care, Cat

  2. No matter what: if you’re writing, you are a writer

    This.

    Writers already suffer so much creative self doubt.

    When we feel we aren’t even allowed to acknowledge the basic fact that ‘we write, therefore we’re writers’, we are shooting our self-confidence in the foot.

    • It’s taken me a long time to realise this basic right to ‘label’ myself a writer…I think it comes with the act of writing habitually.
      I suppose it is about having the confidence to know that you deserve it in part. For me, ‘writer’ is a very high accolade and I felt I needed to know I was worthy of the title before accepting it.
      Hmmm, it’s an interesting issue for us writers – the professionality of our craft – possibly warrants some blog post musing…
      Thanks for your comment.
      Take Care, Cat

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