The Whole Writer

Lifelong Learning

No one needs to learn how to write. By the time most of us get out of high school, we’ve written multiple “themes” and even some research papers. We’ve learned the basics of sentence structure, grammar, and how to divide our writing into paragraphs.

Having those basic skills under our belt, we’re able to spend our free time for the rest of our lives writing stories and poetry that we can share with our friends and family. That life hobby brings satisfaction and fulfillment.

It’s possible to go further with our hobby. There’s a big wide world out there of ways to get better at writing. Marry your love of writing with your love of learning, and you will never run out of something to do.

I’ve gotten hooked on learning about writing. Some days, I’m overwhelmed with how much is available. On the internet, I have my regulars. I read Dan Blank, Joseph Michael, Jerry Jenkins, and Jane Friedman. Their blogs, websites, and classes are outstanding. Google any one of them.

Locally, I network with writers through the Village Writing School. They offer workshops, speakers, open mic sessions. One of the best ever literary libraries in the state resides at the Village Writing School, providing reading material on every conceivable aspect of writing.

Personally, I am inspired by my friends who are avid writers: Alison Taylor-Brown, Debbie Quigley-Smith, Nancy Harris, Jeanie Nance, Carol Martindale, Alan Lampe, Dan Baxter, Valerie Fondetti.

I don’t put to use nearly all the lessons I listen to. Much of what I hear at workshops is not directly relevant to anything I’m writing. But, all that information accrues. Soaks into my skin. It enriches me and broadens my general knowledge.

I have attended two recent workshops that stretched me. One was with the author of a book called Be the Gateway — Dan Blank. He actually Skyped in to talk with us about how to connect with readers. Imagine a New York author/guru chatting with little ole me and a few of my friends. The other opportunity was with an editor from New York, Denise Roy, who read my query letter and line-edited it. She took the time to fix my words! Unbelievable. The cost was truly minimal.

I don’t plan to make a splash in New York with my writing. I don’t plan to sell 10,000 books. I’ll be lucky to sell 100. But, I love the fact that I have the opportunity to continue learning about this my chosen field. I love that we are in an age where we can live in the splendid Natural State and still have access to the top teachers in the country.

I don’t need to tell you the value of lifelong learning. You already know. Just take a moment to ponder what a marvelous time we live in and how lucky we are to be writing today.