For the first time in my writing career I am actively trying to learn about writing. Prior to this I did a great job of reading a lot of summaries of writing teaching. I read lists and blog posts about writing, and wanted them to provide me with the road map to writing. Sadly, that isn’t necessarily the best way to learn how to write well.
I already own a lot of books on writing. I have even read a couple of them, but I have never actively tried to read them and then follow the exercises to attempt to get better. Instead I assumed that I would absorb the teaching without exercising my brain.
But no more. I just finished a book on plotting (20 Master Plots and How to Build Them by Ronald B. Tobias). Currently I am reading Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin. It is the most robust book on writing that I have ever read and the exercises should be very helpful.
One good thing about reading these books after I have finished writing three full novel length manuscripts is I can look back on those and figure out what went right and what went wrong. The tricky part is deciding if I should attempt to rewrite those or start something new.
I love all of the ideas of my first novels, but I worry that I am too in love with the ideas to effectively rewrite them. A path forward I have considered is writing short stories instead. Focus on learning how to construct a story in short form and then worry about writing a novel. Knowing me I will probably try to do some weird version that combines both of them. We shall see.
The important thing is that I am back to writing daily, though I try to take one weekend day off.
In other writing news: I am writing this on a Freewrite typewriter thing that Harper got me. There is something so nice about just writing and not worrying about spelling or other errors. Not being able to edit as I go is probably going to make me put more words to paper.
The most important thing I am doing now is celebrating the journey to story, rather than focusing on the endgame. Yay.