This week: Continue to Learn as a WriterEdited by: Dawn Embers
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Short Stories Newsletter by Dawn
As writers we have a lot of room to grow over the years and that includes things we can learn here on the web site. This is a brief look at how one can keep learning at any age.
There has always been that saying about how after a certain point you can't learn a new trick. However, I find instead that many of us keep learning over the years and growing when it comes to our craft, work and even life in general. What I do for a living is a good example of a craft that focuses on education because in order to keep my license and continue doing the work, I have to do what they call continued education. What does that mean? Well every 2 years I have to accumulate so many educational credits. Luckily the licensing organization also provides opportunities to meet those goals but it's all on my shoulders whether I get those credits done in time or not. And the topics vary over the years though there is a requirement each set of 2 years to take one related to law and another that has to do with safety. Since mine are due in the next couple of months you can guess what I've been trying to get done.
Yes, I'm still a procrastinator. But that's another topic for a different newsletter as maybe I'll edit for this one again some time in the next year. My main point and reason for personal ramble is to say, even though I already did the test and got the license, I still continue to learn and grow with the craft. The same goes for writing though it's a little less structured and not particularly mandated by any organization.
Short stories in particular are a great venue for learning and developing our skills as writers. While I do love writing novels, when it comes to trying out new things or learning a different perspective, it really does help to start in the form of a short story. Whether it's a different technique, editing things in order to get the flow just right or even taking on a genre without much knowledge ahead of time there are plenty of options when it comes to writing. We can continue education and unlike certain other classes/credits, it doesn't cost much.
So there is challenge number one if you are wanting to branch out or feeling a little stuck within your writing. Find something to learn. Whether it's a genre you hadn't really thought of trying in the past or maybe a point of view you haven't ventured in much because of a personal preference. Take a little time to create a story that uses something you didn't know much about before. Then edit and rewrite. Practice with the lesson like you might have any other learning point and share it here on the site.
Not only can we learn about how to write or what to write, but we can also learn here on WDC. I've been a member since 2005, which is a really long time. And you might think I know how to do everything on this site but that's very much not the case. Not only are there things I haven't done but one of the great aspects of WDC is that fact we continue to grow and change. SM is always coming up with new things and ways to improve the site. In turn that means I have some new stuff to learn every year. Whether I'm moderating or just posting stories and entering contests, there are things I can learn. My education here will probably never end, not even after I make it to that 20 year mark (crazy to think how soon 2025 seems now).
Think about when you first signed onto the site, whether that was recent or many years ago. What have you learned since then? Now imagine what you will learn in the future. Have fun as you continue to learn here on WDC and for the many years that follow.
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Back in May 2018 (wow I haven't edited this newsletter for a while) I discussed contests here on the site and touched a little bit on following the rules. Here are some comments sent in back then:
Comment by Editing is BLUE
I loved Alice's Curiosity Shoppe. I like the odd ones. I've been trying to submit for Character type contests to push me to do something out of my comfort zone.
- I like the odd ones too though they don't always last for long but maybe that's part of the fun, having that brief time to enter.
Comment by Angus
Thank you for that informational Newsletter about contests, particularly that part about the lack of participation. I know horror isn't a very popular genre, but as the host of "SCREAMS!!!" , we're really lacking in contestants. Hopefully a few people will read this Newsletter and maybe write out of the usual genre. Who knows? Some folks have even said that they like horror! Thanks again for a great Newsletter!
- I know how you feel. Doesn't seem to matter the genre, it's a challenge for any of us to get entries at times.
Comment by brom21
I usually enter the Writer's Cramp because my story will be reviewed the very next day if it wins. I'll see if a can enter into one or more of the contests listed above. Thanks for the NL!
- Hopefully you found a couple of contests to enter since then and are still writing. :)
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