Tuesday, August 18, 2015

The Successful Author: Back to School

My current reading/research/study stack

 Long lines at the hair salon, store shelves stacked with notebooks, bus drivers practicing their routes—you can’t miss the signs that the back-to-school season is upon us. After twenty years as a college and high school teacher, I still enjoy that fevered pitch of a new school year about to get underway.

Even if you’re not headed back to a classroom, now is a great time to turn a bit of your energy toward your continuing education as an author. In lieu of school—or to supplement it—try these:

·         Subscribe to a magazine that centers on writing or books: Poets and Writers, The Writer’s Chronicle, The Writer, Writer’s Digest, Publishers Weekly, Bookforum, The New York Review of Books
·         Read like a writer, in your genre. Make a reading list and set tangible goals for working through it. (For more on reading like a writer, see Write Your Best Book.)
·         Start or reinvigorate your journal. Journals aren’t just for musing. Use yours to spin ideas, play with plot, develop your characters, note“best practice” models of style and structure, even build vocabulary (words are the tools of your trade!)
·         Make plans to attend a writer’s retreat or conference.
·         Apply for a writing residency.
·         Start or reinvigorate a writers group aimed with critique and support components
·         Sign up for a creative writing class at your local writing center or online.

Don’t miss out on one of the best things about being an author—you’re always learning!