Adventures in Learning the Craft of Writing by Christy Carlyle

In lots of ways, I look at writing and trying to become a better writer as an adventure. I love the creativity of what I do, but I also continually crave new insights. New surprises. New writing skills I can apply to my manuscripts. I’m a book lover too, and let’s just say I have a healthy collection of writing craft books.

From Dwight Swain to Debra Dixon to Larry Brooks to James Scott Bell, there’s a long list of stellar writing gurus to learn from. I read their books once, highlight like mad, often re-read, and try to apply the nuggets of wisdom they teach. But there’s nothing quite like learning one on one. As a former teacher, I often miss the classroom. Next week, I’m going to become a student again and enter a writing classroom or sorts.

I couldn’t be more excited.

Writers are a generous lot, and I’ve found, without fail, every writer I know is willing to tell me what they’ve learned and from who. I happily collect recommendations to take classes, read books, attend various workshops, and noted that one name kept coming up again and again: Margie Lawson. Fellow writers tell me that her classes had an immediate impact on their writing. Some credit her instruction with helping them win contests, acquire an agent, sign a contract, or even hit a bestseller list.

I’ve taken classes via Margie’s website, downloaded her packets to study on my own, and next week I’ll be heading to Denver to study with her in person during a one-week Immersion session. I can’t remember the last time I had uninterrupted time to devote to study, not since university classes. I’m looking forward to the focused, intense nature of the instruction. Most of all, I’m looking forward to, hopefully, becoming a better writer. I’ll be sure to share some of what I learned at the blog next month.

Between deadlines, new releases, and publishing plans, I find it harder and harder to fit reading and study into my days, but I don’t want to give up on the kind of professional development that was expected of me as a teacher. I have a lot to learn, and each new skill makes writing a more rewarding adventure.

When’s the last time you took a class or learned something new? Fellow writers, feel free to share your writing book and class recommendations below!

3 Responses

  1. Barbara Monajem (@BarbaraMonajem)

    Sounds like a great opportunity! I can’t imagine immersing myself in anything (my attention span left me long ago), but I hope to learn something new when you share with us next month. Re class recommendations, I took a great plotting class with Laurie Schnebly Campbell several years ago, and I still use the material she provided.

  2. Maggi Andersen

    I’ve done a couple of Margie Lawson’s on line courses. She’s very good. I often take a class if something interests me. Love them.