I spent the last 25 or so years concentrating on my career as a Technical Writer and dabbling in fiction writing. Needless to say, I’ve missed a lot. I am just now discovering things like Critical Roll, Writing Excuses, and Trope Talk. Since I’ve found these treasures, I’ve been madly listening to and watching what I can, trying to absorb every bit of knowledge.
As First Reader can attest, I’m not much of a television person, I never really have been. I’d rather play a game, or, more recently, watch something educational on YouTube. The thought crossed my mind to apply to grad school and get my MFA, but with the current student loan situation, that idea is a non-starter. I could look into a DIY MFA and really get serious about making my fiction a “retirement career.” But honestly, I’m not sure I have the gumption to stay on track. I only finished my Bachelor’s degree because First Reader kept me on track. Have I mentioned SQUIRREL!?!
All joking aside, I have the time to devote to study writing and will likely pursue continuing education on the subject. I’ve already started doing just that by tuning in to various YouTube videos and writing podcasts. My goal is to improve my own skills by practice and to learn from others. This blog is one way to practice my writing chops.
I’ve been looking at YouTube for writing advice, courses, and other interesting information. I’ve found Trope Talk, presented by Overly Sarcastic Productions. This little gem contains a playlist that includes Trope Talk!, Shakespeare Summarized, and Miscellaneous Myths, among others. These videos are a hoot and not longer than about 20 minutes or so each.
I’ve also gone to podcasts to learn. Writing Excuses is one of my new favorites. I like the Writing Excuses format: “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart.” The podcasts are anywhere from fifteen to twenty-five minutes and are packed with information. I’m still exploring podcasts. I haven’t found more yet (I can’t seem to get away from Writing Excuses), but I have heard that The Grammar Girl and The Creative Penn are useful resources.
My days have been filled with learning. I don’t think I’ve gotten so much education since my university days. That’s ok, though. As we age, it helps to keep the brain cells stimulated. Like any part of the body, if the brain isn’t exercised, it gets flabby and dull. If family history is any indication, I could live another thirty-five years. Not something I want to do without purpose.
I turn to the local library and the Internet, as well as YouTube and podcasts to learn how to build a better story. These days, I’d rather be busy than bored, and since I can’t get out to ride, I might as well learn something.