“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.”
Seeking support, guidance and knowledge
Once you have a couple of first drafts, put the writing away for a while and distance yourself, perhaps for a few days or a week. Taking a break and maybe working on another piece of writing will provide time to ameliorate your thoughts. Returning to the work with a discerning eye and alert to clunky sentences, repetition and redundant words will also help to keep you engaged with the process. Time spent away from the work allows for fresh ideas to percolate. I find this physical separation from my writing absolutely vital and enlivening.
At a certain point it is good to share the work with someone skilled and honest and with whom you can trust, a writers group perhaps, a mentor, teacher or friend, see below for suggestions.
Here are some practical suggestions:
- Join a writing group – listen to other, more experienced writers and read their work, take note and learn just how they critique and offer constructive feedback, develop resilience and learn how rejection can become a valuable gift.
- Share your work – become confident, find your voice
- Register to become a member of one of many organisations offering support and services to writers
- Volunteer at literary events – learn about the industry
- Consider a mentor to share and critique your work someone with whom you connect and trust
- Attend writer’s festivals and readings
- Enrol in master classes – recognize the strengths and weaknesses in your writing
- Pursue further study – perhaps a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing – educate yourself, read, learn about the publishing industry protocol and how to correctly format your work (according to industry standards) before submitting and presenting to editors, agents, publishers and competitions.
- Take a leap of faith and submit your work to competitions, literary journals, magazines and newspapers – you’ll never know if you never go…
- Stick this list onto your desk and add a list of all the supportive organisations for writers
I am currently studying a Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing part-time. I’m taking it in slowly and giving myself time to absorb and assimilate the many aspects of writing, writing well and editing my work. I have the most amazing teachers and each are well-respected, published and generous writers. Surround yourself with good people who care about writing and story telling, List of Australian Writers’ Organisations
- AUSTRALIAN SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (ASA)
ASA publishes rates and conditions for writers and illustrators each year. The ASA prepares documents and provides advice for authors about contracts, publishing and copyright. Tel: 02 9318 0877 Fax: 02 9318 0530 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: Link Australian Society of Authors 98 Pitt Street Redfern NSW 2016
- EDITORS VICTORIA Hosts monthly dinner meetings with members and guest speakers.
Offers professional skills training including grammar refresher and InDesign workshops. See the website for a freelance editor register. Membership is offered to both professionals and those interested in the publishing industry. Email: email@example.com Website: Link Editors Victoria PO Box 176 Carlton South VIC 3053
- AUSTRALIAN POETRY Contact to arrange an appointment to visit AP.
AP hosts events and workshops. AP houses a dedicated national library of Australian and international poetry, including independent publications and chapbooks. Also available at the library are podcasts and podcasts. Tel: 9094 7826 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: Link Australian Poetry The Wheeler Centre 176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne VIC 3000
- EXPRESS MEDIA Express Media is here for young writers.
Find out more about our publications, projects, events, and education and training programs for young people in writing and media here. Tel: 9094 7886 Email: email@example.com Website: Link Express Media The Wheeler Centre 176 Little Lonsdale Street Melbourne VIC 3000
Books to help with the writing process:
- Why We Write – Edited by Meredith Maran
- The Faith of A Writer: by Joyce Carol Oates
- UTS Writers Anthology – What you do and don t want (2007) : ABC
- The Elements of Style: by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White
- The Writing Book – A workbooks for Fiction Writers: by Kate Grenville
- The First Five Pages: by Noah Lukem
- The Art of Fiction: by John Gardner
- The 3 a.m. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises That Transform Your Fiction by Brian Kiteley
- On Writer’s Block: A New Approach to Creativity by Victoria Nelson
- Making Shapely Fiction by Jerome Stern
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King