This weekend I’ll be attending a Master Class presented by New York literary agent Donald Maass called “Swept Away: Writing Enthralling Fiction.” This event is part of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association Summer Conference, being held July 20-23, 2017, at the DoubleTree Hotel in Seattle.
I have nine books books published and am working on my tenth. I’ve been to a lot of conferences and workshops. Some people might wonder why I keep enrolling in classes when I have the basics down.
That’s a good question and hopefully I can provide a good answer.
Writing, like many skills, isn’t something you perfect overnight or by your tenth book. There are nuances to the craft that reveal themselves as writers gain experiences, learn from mistakes, tackle new writing challenges and venture into new genres.
Think of a classically trained chef. His education begins with the basics. As he refines those skills, he learns new techniques and adds those to his repertoire. Over time, after cooking thousands of dishes (some of which were total flops), the chef might rise to the top of his field. But even once this achievement has been reached, the chef will continue to experiment and study and create new ways to prepare food.
That’s what conferences and workshops do for writers. Even the bestselling authors go through this process. They may not sign up for classes, but many work and collaborate with trusted author friends or maybe an editor to keep improving their craft.
I’m excited about the knowledge I’ll gain at this weekend’s master class. One day you’ll get to enjoy the benefits of my continuing education.
Does your career require continuing education? What kinds of lessons or workshops to you enjoy most?