The art of writing

“The art of writing is what you get to do once you become familiar with the craft” [of writing]. Elizabeth George in her book “Write Away.”

Learning the craft of writing is like developing any skill: get someone to show you how to do it and then start doing it yourself.

For example, when my wife and I first started blogging our very tech savvy son sat us at our laptops and stood behind us taking us step by step through the various elements of WordPress. He showed us all the things we needed to know to get started. As we progressed in our learning he refined the process, teaching us new skills, correcting us when we erred and praising us as we developed in confidence. Now we rarely have to ask for any advice for we have learned what we need to know about the craft of blogging.

Likewise, the craft of writing can be taught. I remember teaching my seven and eight year old students step by step through the process of writing in different genres. Writing a letter, for example, is far removed from writing a haiku poem. Writing an entry in a journal about one’s family experiences requires a different set of skills when compared with writing a report about a class visit to the zoo (though I can see obvious links between these two events – poor example).

Learn the craft of writing

If you want to be a writer, learn the craft.

Here are some useful hints:

  • Read voraciously.
  • Practise writing daily.
  • Read books that teach you about the craft of writing.
  • Buy and read magazines about the craft of writing.
  • Join a writers’ group and listen to the advice of other writers.
  • Practise writing daily – no omissions.
  • Join writers’ organisations in your area and attend their meetings.
  • Attend writing seminars and listen to practising writers explain the craft.
  • Practise writing daily – no excuses.
  • Attend writers’ conferences and talk to other writers.
  • And last, but by no means least, practise writing daily.

Your apprenticeship

The above list of things that you can do to learn the craft of writing is your apprenticeship. Learning the craft can take many years, as it all depends on how passionate you are about learning the skills needed. In fact, I would go as far as to say you should always be learning the craft. Eventually you will develop the skills needed to enjoy the art of writing.

The art of writing is all about the inspiration of the moment and the excitement of riding the wave of an idea. The art of writing is what you get to do once you become familiar with the craft. Elizabeth George in her book “Write Away.”

Further reading:

 

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