Can you imagine a construction crew building a house without blueprints? Essentially, this was my approach in writing. In the past, I use to write, review and click send. I was a lean, mean submission machine. The time I spent waiting for a reply fueled my insanity.
This approach is ill-conceived. If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, what is ignorance? Thank goodness there is a learning curve. Most of time, I just want to forge ahead. Is there anything cooler than seeing you hard work pay off? The writing process resembles a tailor designing clothing and not someone sprinting in the 100 yard dash. Writing requires intricate command of details, like a drafter drawing blueprints.
Speaking of the craft, I discovered the pitching process. The pitch letter is a writer’s case for a story. I discovered pitching while participating in an article writing seminar offered by the Gotham Writers Workshop. Since then, I have pitched ideas to a handful of publications. This saves me so much time. If an editor agrees, I can move forward. If not, I can move on to another publication.
You can never really escape the classroom. We all have to engage in lifelong learning. There are online resources that can help. Sometimes, I need an instructor to provide feedback and act as a sounding board. There are some intriguing opportunities in the fall. I have to develop a plan for the future.
For example, The Writing Center offers a wider variety of classes in both fiction and nonfiction. More importantly, this organization provides an opportunity for writers to meet with prominent authors. There is a strong sense of community which is very important. The Writing Center is hosting an open mic event. This sounds so fascinating. I always welcome an opportunity to interact with writers.
This journey is about improvement and not perfection. In looking back, I have come a long way. There is still room for improvement. Sometimes, there is discouragement when I stumble. I have to recall the wisdom of Frederick Douglass after I fall. If there is no struggle, there is no progress.