Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Write Stuff

When I developed my three year goals I knew reaching them was going to involve some ups and downs. At the moment the financial side is mostly all downs, but at least the writing side is on the upswing.

The primary reason I feel so optimistic about my writing these days is due to one thing: Writers Village University. After six months of active membership I see measurable improvement in my writing. My sentences are tighter and I'm getting better at "showing" instead of "telling." I'm no longer intimidated at the idea of producing a 500-1,000 word flash fiction piece week after week.

What makes Writers Village University such a great resource for writers is the exposure to other writers. Yes, there are literally hundreds of courses to choose from to hone your technique--all of them excellent--but for me it is the feedback from other writers that is truly invaluable. Criticism at WVU is not just encouraged, it is required, but with the caveat that feedback must be constructive, not destructive. In other words, no tearing others down to build oneself up is permitted. Through receiving criticism of my own work I am learning to read with a more critical eye myself.

WVU members are a varied lot. I've met writers from all over the US, as well as other countries, of all ages and occupations, yet every single one of them "gets it." We all know the thrill of being "in the zone," that moment when the writing is flowing well, time is suspended, and the rest of the world recedes into the background. Conversely, we all know the hellish feeling of struggling with a piece that just won't work, or the frustration of a character that just lies there on the page, flat and lifeless. We all "get it" because we're all living it, every day, as we pursue our mutual quest to follow our writerly bliss wherever it may lead.

I still have a lot to learn, but I feel confident I'm headed in the "write" direction, thanks to Writers Village University and F2K.

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