I have a confession to make. I’m no expert. On writing, or anything else, for that matter. But I love reading all the how-to books and articles on writing. I’ll read the expert advice, thinking, oh, I could do that. Or, that makes sense, I’ll try it.
In fact, I typically have a book on writing craft open all the time. Currently, I’m reading through Fiction Writer’s Workshop, by Josip Novakovich. Some of my all time favorites are On Writing, by Stephen King and Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg. I think it might be time to reread both of them.
There are a lot of books and articles offering advice on how to write. Besides the books and the magazines, there are countless blogs offering all sorts of writing tips, from the basic how-to’s of fiction to why writers should embrace their mistakes. And if I’ve learned nothing else, I’ve learned there are as many ways to write as there are writers.
It can be all too easy to get caught up in all the learning. I’m guilty of this myself. Not that there’s anything wrong with all those books and blogs. I’ll go on reading them. There does, however, come a point when reading all the advice and how-to’s needs to become something more.
My “expert” advice then, is to go ahead, read all the books. Read the blogs. Read them again. But don’t stop there. Act on it. Learn from it. Find out if it works for you. Or why it doesn’t work for you.
Alternately, you could scrap the whole lot of it. Don’t read any more advice on writing. Step out and forge your own path. Don’t worry, someone’s been there before too.
We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.
– Ernest Hemingway