Thursday, December 31, 2015

And Here Comes 2016…

It’s been a tough but good year for me on many fronts, including writing.

One of the “tough but good” things has been figuring out gaps in certain things I know that were sabotaging me. For example, I’ve long called myself an editor, with my topmost editing service being a “tutoring edit”—despite more than one client telling me they learned more from one of my edits than they had from school. I’ve also long been aware of a core element of writing that many teachers skip, either assuming folks already know it or not realizing that it needs to be taught.

After years of teaching this one-on-one—and having to reassure each one “You are not alone!”—I’ve finally realized that a few things.

  1. What I’ve been calling a “tutoring edit” is actually “coaching”.
  2. I have more than enough material to create my own e-class.
  3. Teaching a group at once would increase the value and encouragement for each student.

I actually like tutoring. I even did it as a kid, for my classmates and others—and not only one-on-one! So creating an e-class (or more, but I’ll be starting with one) is such a natural, obvious consequence of what I know that I can’t help but feel silly for not thinking of it sooner…but considering I had to first realize my “tutoring edit” was in fact “coaching”, I can’t blame myself for taking so long to figure it out.

So, one of the first things I’m doing this year is creating an e-class. Working title: Why Don’t They Get It? the secrets your writing teacher forgot to tell you.

And seriously, the core problem does tend to be that folks who know how to write outright forget to teach this—or don’t think to, because it’s so obvious once you know it that it’s easy to think it’s common sense; or don’t want to, because it’s not as easy to teach as mere grammar and spelling. If writing’s a fence, my class will address the posts.

Hint: Grammar and spelling are essentially whitewash and polish—they’re needed for something to look nice, but they don’t do much good if your fence is missing needed pieces.

This is not a “how to sell!” class.

This is a “What all that ‘How to sell your writing’ advice assumes you already know” class.

You probably need this class if…

  • you think “perfect grammar and spelling” are all that’s needed to have “perfect writing”
  • your readers often miss your point, and you can’t figure out why
  • you think the reason readers miss your point is that you’re being poetic

All those things signal that some posts are missing in the fence of your writing. You can whitewash and polish up what’s there—and, depending on what’s missing, the result might work fine for what you want to do with the fence. If so, that’s great!

But if those parts are missing because you don’t know they’re missing, how can you put them back in when you need them?

Everyone has missing or weak points in their writing.

That’s part of being an imperfect human. Even the best writers and editors in the world are not exceptions to that—myself included.

That “those who can’t do, teach” thing is bullshit, by the way. You have to understand how something is done in order to be able to teach it well—but doing and teaching are two different skills, so not everyone who does something can teach that something. I know a lot about marketing and ways to help a series do well out the gate, but since I don’t actually use what I know, I’m not about to teach it!

And not everyone who can teach something outright wants to. Teaching how to do something gives others an opening to ridicule/dismiss you as having to teach because you can’t actually do that something, which is annoying and draining to deal with.

That said…

I don’t believe my regular commenters need this class.

You might benefit from some specific things, but I suspect you’ll find that the class essentially covers things you already know.

But if you want news about the class and first dibs when the class opens for enrollment, you can sign up for notifications now.

This class is my current “big” project.

To keep from overwhelming myself, I’m limiting myself to one “big” project and one “little” project for my current plans.

My little project? Getting back on the wagon with First Draft Fridays over on Wattpad.

If these two items prove straightforward enough for me to keep up with—and they should, especially since the class should become a “little” thing once it’s all put together—I have a few projects that I’ll be adding onto my plate, one at a time. (One of them will involve regular blog posts that I know my regular commenters would probably enjoy, in the vein of the “Idolization of Free Will” post I promised quite some time ago but have yet to deliver.)

But one thing I’m going to do?

And I may not wait until 2017 to review what’s in it! :-)

What big or little plans do you have for the new year?


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