Learning by doing isn’t the hard way; it’s the only way.
Writers, by definition, have to learn by doing.
“A writer writes.” Yeah, duh…
It’s that “doing” that separates the dreamers from the aspirants and achievers.
“A writer writes,” uttered with conviction by a fictional character, was one of the catalysts that induced me to commit to full-time writing. I wrote now and then for non-profits. I reveled in the fact that my cousins all thought I should write a book after they read my annual holiday letter. Strangely though, it was the urging in the young adult novel Sahara Special that made me start taking risks.
“A writer writes,” struck a chord with me. Ability, creativity, ideas, and aspirations didn’t mean anything if I wasn’t actively writing and developing my craft. Finding my voice.
Redwoods Society and Learning by Doing
“I didn’t know what I didn’t know.” With that, John Kingston pretty much summed up the Redwoods Society writers’ experience with launching a group website. Blogging and curating a website require different skill sets than writing a book. The Redwoods Society writers are also learning by doing—and by adjusting and growing to find our collective voice and to refine our focus.
We could try to do all that based on others’ expertise. In fact, we did—try that is. But, we didn’t know… you know… all those things that we didn’t know.
What we didn’t know
Redwoods Society grew out of a meeting of minds and purposes at the 2013 San Francisco Writers conference. We expected writers from the West Coast to join us. One of those things we didn’t know then was that four out of five of us would live in Michigan.
We also didn’t know that the mantle of “expert” or “teacher” would sit heavily on our shoulders. We’re all learning and experimenting. All of us are much more comfortable with sharing our journey as writers and authors than telling others the right way to do it.
What we’ve learned
Writers aren’t bound by a geographic region.
Writers can help themselves by helping each other.
This site will continue to be a site full of content for writers by writers, a meeting place for writers to share content and thoughts.
In addition to our blog, we’ll be rolling out some additional resources pages and prompts. No matter where our travels might take us, we look forward to meeting you here to share the road less written.
I recently finished writing a novel… Or did I? That is a question we often ask ourselves, and in some cases that may revolve around a doubt that what we have is enough and whether a second point of view (POV) would improve our writing or distract from it. (more…)
With split-second timing, the hero levels his enemy with a perfectly-timed jumping front kick. Striking his erstwhile attacker on the chin, his steel-like foot sends the villain careening into the two evil henchmen behind him, knocking them down. As one enemy gets up swinging, the hero rattles off six strikes to his body with the speed and damage of a cobra’s strike, and he smiles wryly as the bad guy’s body jerks and convulses before falling to the ground. Sensing movement behind him, the hero turns just in time to duck the attempted cheap shot before executing a judo flip upon his charging attacker, sending him crashing through a conveniently-placed window …
Writing dramatic battles is alluring, violence is quick, brutal, and chaotic in the real world. I learned this from fights in the playgrounds, street corners, and dive bars in Flint, Michigan, one of the “Most Dangerous Cities in the U.S.” And while the School of Hard Knocks has made me a better writer, my tuition was paid with a broken nose, broken orbital bone, and various and sundry injuries. For the gentle literary types, there are other ways to learn about real-world violence that won’t put you in mortal danger. (more…)
Perplexed about something? What post topics would help?
I’ve come to appreciate the online community of writers. Authors generously sharing advice, experience, and expertise has made me feel a whole lot less of a clueless newbie. In fact, I’ve gotten so used to it, that when I face a quandary, I simply search Google to see what other authors have to posted on the topic.
The Redwoods Society was conceived for just this purpose. We’re always looking for informative articles to share with other authors. If you have expertise or an experience to share, contact us about guest posting.
In the meantime, here’s three post topics that would be helpful—at least to me. (more…)
The Wonderful World of Blog Tours
I used to think a blog tour was when an esteemed blogger, ahem, went on a virtual tour, imparting her “voice” to various blogs. That’s not it.
On a blog tour, a book goes on a virtual trip with just a note from its author, usually around the time a book releases. A publisher or author sets a up a time period for the “tour” and sends out pitches, asking various book bloggers to choose a day during that time to review or highlight the book.
How do you hug a book blogger? By visiting their site! (more…)
I swoon for summer. I get hot for the heat. The waft of barbecue in the summer air is like an aphrodisiac. For my money, nothing beats a road trip with the windows down and a great music playlist. Yep, nothing gets my dopamine flowing better than a pleasant day. But that’s the problem. As a lifelong Michigander, I’ve come to learn that pleasant days aren’t exactly something you can plan a picnic around. (more…)