Comment to 'Fear of Failure'
Comment to Fear of Failure
  • This is very common, I wrote a blog about this last year which some people have found useful

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    • 'Does that mean a writer can buy they're way to publication by attending writing courses, having critiques and assessments done etc etc.' 

      I don't believe so. Of course, a 'writer' can improve, but an innate talent is, for me, a prerequisite. Unless you're a celebrity - whatever that means.

      Of course, a 'platform' in an interesting or unusual subject helps - e.g. brain surgeon, prisoner of war, circus clown, etc.

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      • Thanks for your comment, Taj.

        I agree that you don't need to spend huge sums to learn how to write well. What you need is time and hard study. I'm a self-taught writer and I think that I'm not doing badly, so far I've entered 3 writing competitions and I've been longlisted in 2 of them.

        This is how I've taught myself the craft of writing:

        To start, I read about a dozen different books about creative writing  to learn the basics such as differences between genres, POVs, plot, sub-plot, setting, characterization and character arcs, etc. I got most of them FREE from my public library, but have since bought a few to keep at home.

        Then I reread some of the well-known classics and present day bestsellers to see how the previous elements I'd learnt were done. I often underline and take notes on the side of pages as I read and I revisit my books to check things when in doubt. Most of these books were bought at charity shops for pennies.

        I did a few FREE courses with futurelearn.com and the University of Iowa FREE MOOCs. I joined two online writing platforms, Jericho Writers (under their previous name) and scribophile.com I also joined 4 writing groups in London but don't attend regularly. (One of them the Write Together). I made a list of people that could / would read my work and give me feedback.

        I often do internet searches for stuff I'm trying to understand, but you need to know the difference between good info and bad, misleading info. Most authors have got blogs, some are very good. You can learn a lot on the internet.

        Every time a new book wins a prize, I try to read it and find out why, what made that book so special. I read book reviews online to know what the experts are saying.  I read a lot both in my favourie genre and also in other genres. I often reread my favourite books, and each time I discover something new. I now read like a writer, observing the art & cratf that went into it.

        So... as I said above, it's all free or nearly free. The only investment is time, a lot of time.

        Hope this is helpful.

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        • Donna, I'm worn out by just reading your response! What dedication.

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