Good fiction writing is about always learning and pushing the boundaries.  The image shows a pair of hands holding up a book and magical words glowing inside.
Holding magic book with flying letters

Image by efks

I’ve been spending time researching training for my IDP in my day job.  But  I’ve struggled to find courses that both challenge me and yet not be too difficult.  With writing, I’m always thinking about learning and looking for ways to push out. 

These are 3 traits good writers do:

  1. Good writers embrace continuous learning

    There was a writer I used to love to read.  Her stories transported me to her world and I loved the character.  She hit success on Book 4 and decided she’d didn’t need to learn anything else.

    It showed in the work.  She’s now been writing for 20 years, sales are dipping, and she’s trying to recapture what she had in those early books.  I picked up one of those books.  The skill’s gone.

    A good writer is always looking for the next thing to learn.  They explore different skills and try pushing their boundaries. 

    When I created the Writing Worksheets for Pantsers I was surprised to find learning that no one talks about today in books from the 1960s. 

  2. Good writers push the boundaries of their skills

    At my writing group, Writer Jane kept submitting her writing to use for critique.  She wrote all the time, clocking in at least a million words.  Yet, her writing was stagnant. 

    We told her to work on adding more five senses to enhance her characterization.  Instead, she zoomed her story to another writing group.  They told her “It’s great!  Don’t touch it!”  So she stays the same, year after year.  Wonders why no one will accept her books.

    A good writer uses continuous learning to try new skills.  Maybe she experiments with doing a new type of viewpoint or a genre she’s never done before. 

    This last week, I finished Story 26 in the Great Challenge.  I’d been a little stuck, so I used a new type of character I wouldn’t have never tried before.  Story went in a direction I didn’t expect.

  3.  Good writers have fun

    With the combination of winter and COVID-19, it’s easy to stay inside, and stay isolated.  Add writer with a side hustle and you forget that fun is essential to your creativity.

    Take time to have fun.

    Two weeks ago, I realized I needed to get out to fuel my creativity.  Even if it’s cold out, you can still drive around, which I did in a pouring rainstorm. 

    The people in the house across the street probably thought I was crazy running out to the signs in the park.  It was a Civil War historical site and the information on the signs wasn’t online anywhere. 

    Spring is around the corner.  I’m looking forward.

Leave a comment about how you’re going to fuel your creativity with something fun.