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First-Time Writers: How to Master Your Craft

Many of my clients are professional consultants, healers, pioneer parents, leaders in their field of mastery…

….and first-timers in the arena of writing.

It’s not a scary thing. It requires no degree or experience in publication, although sometimes those things are helpful.

Did you know that Ray Bradbury never went to college?

Same goes for Argentinian writer, Jorge Luis Borges, Herman Melville (Moby Dick), Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, Ernest Hemingway, poet William Blake. Doris Lessing did not even graduate high school.

And yet, many people believe they need a writing degree to be a “good” or “successful” writer.

I, too, feel the pangs of a withering confidence at times, and go on to ask a series of questions: “Man, should I get my master’s? Will it make me feel ‘fit’ to teach? Will it make me a true ‘master’?”

And while my education—which is actually only a MINOR in creative writing—benefited my craft and expanded my knowledge, it was only because I had professors who CARED that I expand my ability enough to believe in myself.

Belief that you can learn what you need to, and as you go, is the most powerful confidante on this journey.

READING is your best teacher.

And PRACTICE is the only way to achieve an authentic, powerful voice. YOUR voice. Practice strengthens your ability to turn your thoughts into words that make up a story. Practice puts what you know, or don’t know, into motion. It makes you accountable, curious, educated through experience. You understand how writing feels in your body. It’s not always comfortable. It’ll hurt your bum from too much sitting; it will drain your mind from too much thinking. But, it will empower your being, by creating.

Do you think Ray Bradbury or Doris Lessing or Jorge Luis Borges got it right the first time? The first thousand times? No. They worked and re-worked, chiseling their stories into art. They practiced and listened to their inner voice that said, “Uh, your reader’s not gonna buy that….” They read. They sought advice when they needed. They eventually got editors, to hone their craft even more.

Therefore, there is nothing in the way—not lack of education, not life, no matter how busy it is—that can hold you back. Gather resources, and most of all, get your words down. Assort them in various arrangements. Take you and your words on deeper journeys, down dark alleys, to the unbreathable place in the sky. Let them be your crutch. Let them be your mentor. Let them be what you master in yourself.

If you need extra guidance, a teacher who challenges the words in you, find one who is willing to do what’s necessary to support your journey. You will know when you find her, if the moment is right.

Light the way, pear-beams. 🙂





One thought on “First-Time Writers: How to Master Your Craft

  1. so true. don’t need to be an expert to know things or have skills. don’t need to go to school to be educated. we can be professional without having to be _A_ professional. Officially sanctioned, accredited, acknowldeged sources are not necessarily the best or most valid. Bypass the gatekeepers. You don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to create or learn or teach. on the flip side, be careful not to confuse capability with mastery. writing a book doesn’t make you a writer. having the mindset of a writer does.

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