Whether you’ve just started a new degree or you want to increase your current diploma, the subjects you will study in your Writing Program may be the same as those you learned in High School or College. However, the methods and materials you use will vary from those you learned in school to help supplement your formal education. These may include learning to write creatively, collaborating, analysis, writing about events and others. Being a writer is a lifelong experience, however, some aspects of the craft stay the same throughout a writer’s career, and these are discussed below.
Learning to Write With a Mentor: Being a writer can be best taught with support from a writing coach or mentor. This person will guide you through a step-by-step writing process from start to finish. While it is possible to learn to write by yourself, writing instructions may be difficult to follow and do not always coincide with instructions laid out by a writing expert or coach. The writer/mentor can help you understand what to do, when to do it and how to do it in a manner that makes sense to you. Coaches or mentors can also show students how to appropriately structure their writing so they maximize its effectiveness.
Collaborating: Another important part of being a writer is collaboration. Students with significant writing experience benefit from working with a group of writers on projects. As students work on each project, they learn different aspects of the craft and improve their skills in collaboration. Students with few or no writing experience will often benefit from this type of learning experience, but those who have significant writing experience benefit greatly.
Analysis: Much like creative artists, writers seem to do their best work when their topic is closely related to them. For example, if a writer spends a large amount of time analyzing the daily activities of her family, she’ll come to understand her family’s habits and rituals. This type of analysis seems like a seemingly trivial topic, yet it takes a tremendous amount of effort and attention to do properly. This same aspect applies to most other areas of life.
Communicating: Communication is key to creativity, just as it is with any other profession. While working as an intern, it would be easy to share-quote read stories at meetings or practice jargon in meetings. However, the chance to communicate and work with other writers is one of the most precious gifts writers can receive. If an aspiring full-time writer were to give up their dream and join the ranks of interns, they’d miss out on the many valuable lessons they could only learn by communicating on a regular basis. If a full-time writer were to work at a journal, the experience would be infinitely more valuable than sharing quotes here or there in the course of the day.
Being a writer requires a lot of commitment. Most writers will quickly discover that the best way to get started is to simply make a commitment to work every day, even when they’re not working. Once writers begin to see the rewards of their work, they may choose to take a break from writing and pursue some kind of vocation. When writers are stuck in their routines, however, they may be tempted to pull the plug on their writing career. By remembering that a career in writing isn’t all that great, however, they’ll be better equipped to resist that temptation.