I’ve been spending a lot of time lately listening to marketing related podcasts with indie publishing. While these are informative and are always a great listen, I realised I was paying more attention to how to publish what I’m writing, rather than actually learning how to write better. At the end of the day, you can have a great marketing plan, but if you don’t have great writing to back it up, then what’s the point?
There’s numerous ways of learning how to write well, from university classes, general classes, online courses, to a number of YouTube videos focusing on the craft. Of course, the main way to learn is through reading. My Kindle is teaming with books, and my phone is mainly used for Audible, but I still find myself fighting to set time aside to read. I need to learn that it’s okay to stop and take some time to simply pick up a book and that I don’t always need to be doing something productive with my time. Somewhere along the way, I’ve forgotten what it’s like to curl up with a good book and delve into a story.
Circling back to learning about craft, reading a well told story is one of the best ways to learn how to write a good story; but there’s a difference sometimes between reading for enjoyment and deep reading to find something else. It’s the same with writing, if you want to go beyond a surface based story, you have to know your characters well, the world they’re in and the story they’re a part of. It’s this whole world inside your head that can be kind of crazy. Knowing how to execute the idea is key and can be the difference between a good book or a bad one. It’s something I’m learning and I’m hoping will get better at. I’m still on my first book in a new genre, I’m hoping by the time I’m three books or more down I’ll be better and will have some useful hints and tips on how I learned craft along the way.