Tuesday, October 23, 2012

ABC's of Writing - (G)row With Your Writing

If you want to completely ruin your career, simply fail to grow as a writer. You simply cannot rely on your past success to carry you through your career. Your readership will want to see something new in each of your releases and if all they see is a recycling of what you have already done, you will lose them. In simple terms, they become bored.

This growth is not simply about your voice as a writer. We are also talking about technique and those writing skills. Think about it. People in the medical profession are always attending conferences to learn about new techniques and skills. They area always heading back in for re-certification. Why do they do this? To A) learn of anything new that has happened since they last time they took a class; but also, B) to refresh their understanding of the skills they already have.

As you know, I am a USA Swim official along with everything else I do. Before every meet, we all sit down and discuss the strokes and what makes each legal. Look, most of us can do this in our sleep. We can see an illegal backstroke flip turn from 50 meters away. But, that doesn't mean we don't need a refresher every now and then. In swimming, we find there are always new advancements and new approaches to the sport. As officials, we need to be on top of these changes.

I am always frustrated when I see authors showing up at the RWA National conference who are published and NEVER attend sessions. There is this belief that now that they have "made it" they don't need to attend sessions. This is far from the truth. Education is an ongoing, and certainly a life-long activity. Just stopping after you make that first sale is just the beginning of your end.

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