Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Author Maggie Stiefvater On A Writing Education

One of the best parts of being a writer, is that you have to read - a lot! In fact, as beneficial and important as writing classes, conferences and tutorials can be, the most growth we as writers can make comes from seeing, and doing. The doing includes nothing more than gluing yourself to your chair and getting to work.
The seeing comes from studying the work of the great authors that have come before - and sometimes from the not so great.
If you are a writer of fiction, the best textbook you will find is other published fiction. I use this as my excuse when my husband says something like "you're reading that book again?". Of course I'm reading that book again - I'm studying! In fact, I've never loved studying so much in my life!

But what of the need for formal education to become a successful author? Does one need a college degree to enjoy success in the writing world?

Maggie Stiefvater, an author I've just recently been introduced to, touches on this subject on a recent blog post. She talks about the importance of getting to work and actually writing, to improve your ability to write. Her is one of my favorite quotes from her post:

My sister read and chatted with me about OUTLIERS: The Story of Success, by
Malcolm Gladwell. In it, he talks about the 10,000 hour rule — he postulates
that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in any field. I think
this is key. You need to learn everything you can about not only writing, but
reading, and everything you can find out about the industry and business. I
would say that 10,000 hours of writing sounds about right. But I think that
there are lots of ways to accomplish those hours. You can self teach. You can
apprentice. You can take classes. You can workshop. You can get a writing
critique partner. You can steal someone else’s brain. ~ Maggie Stiefvater

If you would like to read more of her work, or learn more about her books (which I'm hungrily delving into even now...) than click on her name, or the picture above.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations, Mandi! You won a signed copy of "Pride and Popularity" on MMW blog. Go to our winner's circle page to find out how to claim your prize!!


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