One thing I learned pretty early on was that you can’t be a writer without writing.
It sounds flip, true. But early on in writing when there are no guideposts or metrics or boss or anything to tell you where you are, you want something concrete to tell you how to do this writing thing. I did, anyway. If you sold shirts, you’d have hours you were supposed to work, and certain duties like folding shirts and working the register, and maybe even a certain number of shirts to sell. Writing books has none of these things. You can write five thousand words in a day or none. You can write about a monkey or space or monkeys in space. And no one call tell you how to do this well.
The short of it is I didn’t spend a lot of time “learning” how to write. I mean, it’s important to know how to write, craft sentences, etc. You need some good schooling and some practice there. But past a certain point you leave that behind and have to worry about character and voice and plot.
I ramble. Maybe I have learned nothing.
At any rate, there are a few books and other media I found very helpful in getting my writing in a good place. So here they are:
• Strunk & White – The Elements of Style: Pretty much the bible in this area.
• Noah Lukeman – The First Five Pages: You’ve got enough problems getting published. Why let the easy fixes kill you?
• Stephen King – On Writing: Most well-rounded of them all, and I’ve seen other writers cite this.
• Max Barry : I took an online course he was involved in, and took away one simple thing — Have fun writing