Since I’ve finished my series on being a hybrid author, I’ve been thinking a lot about my own career. What do I want it to look like? Where do I want it to go? I love what I do. I love the challenge of writing books, creating characters, and smoothing out plot snarls. I also love helping other people, especially teens. This summer I’m going to be running two writing workshops for teens, as well as rolling out a brand new business, which I will be debuting at a later date… but all this got me to thinking about continuing education for the hybrid author.
I’ve attended some incredible intensives in the past from some wonderful instructors including, Margie Lawson, Bob Mayer, Debora Dixon and many others. Intensives can be a bit overwhelming… my brain can only take in so much information at once, so while I’ve gained immeasurable knowledge from intensives, I’ve probably forgotten more than I will ever remember!
So I’ve decided to continue my education on my own. Each week, I set aside an hour or so for study. This takes many forms… marking and reading interesting articles on the publishing industry that go by on my Twitter feed, reading books on the writing craft or reading books on indie publishing and the changing publishing landscape. I’d like to get to the point of setting aside three to four hours a week for this. Why is it so important?
- Knowledge is power. Knowing about our industry gives us a wider sense of our place within it.
- Reading the opinions of the movers and shakers within our industry gives us pointers on how to network with others. Certain people are hubs, so to speak. They’re the ones who know almost everyone within the business and are themselves innovators. These people and their careers are worth examination.
- Studying craft makes us better writers and communicators. We can be experts on the publishing industry, but unless we know how to write, we aren’t going anywhere.
I am reading a book on craft right now, Rock Your Plot by Cathy Yardly and DIY Publishing by Maggie McVay Lynch. What are you reading? Do you think continuing education for an author is important?
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