Home based writing college. Or how to become a better writer through self education.


Oh God!  I have too many books to read and I’m trying to raise humans to grow up and be great men, I have laundry to fold and a cheesy Hallmark movie to watch, I have food that needs to be cooked…by someone.  Since Arjan and Sam are under 4 years old and don’t have much logic when it comes to hot stoves, I’m it…unless the dogs could be trained…

I always do this, I get into books and I order from the library thinking they will be stacked in their arrival.  I have one book that I’m the 148th person in line for this thing.  So, I ordered some more, then some I couldn’t get at the library and was “forced” to buy them on amazon and they always come faster than the order says.  What happened to the good old days when things took 6 to 8 weeks to get to you?  Now it’s like 6 hours later!  Then (yes, we are still going) I found this new author.  She’s not new at all, but new to me and sounds like she and I could be really good friends except she has figured out her emotional issues around food and doesn’t eat as much cake…hmmm, can I still become close to someone that doesn’t eat cake?  Sure, as long as they have a similar coffee fetish.

So, I decide to read her, see what this broad is all about because everyone just loves her.  She’s sooo witty, she’s sooo hilarious…sigh, I’m already jealous of my new friend.  I decide to look her up in the library and it turns out that ALL of her books are there.  I had to order them, all  12 of them.  I’m an extremist and greedy.  I like to use a description Joyce Meyers used to describe herself…goal oriented.  I like that, it has a ring to it.  I’m goal oriented to the extreme.  I don’t reach most of my goals because I wind up with more task than time.

I now have something like 25 books in line at the library, two books that just arrived at my house from amazon (and more coming), three books I already started a bit ago (one in the bathroom and one in the bedroom…oh, and one on the tread climber).  I will have to either speed read and burn the midnight oil or return half the books in the end after a quick skim.

I did this with Anne Lamott and Nicholas Sparks recently.  I ordered every book they ever even thought of and tried to read them all in a few weeks.  Turns out, with two little boys, that just doesn’t happen and then I got sick of the personality behind the books.  You can only read so much of one author at a time without having a falling out.  It’s like a roommate that you just love the first two months and then they start doing everything wrong.

I write mostly motivational books on homemaking, getting out of debt, getting sober, getting happy…but I did try my hand at some fictional.  I wrote 3 romance novellas and one not romance (I still don’t know how to  classify it).  I did fine except I can’t seem to fill up a novel so all my books turn into novellas or novelettes.  I get tired of the characters and their issues and just want to hurry it along and have everyone pull it together and wrap it up so I can go on to new pastures already!

I’m in a period of self-reflection, exploration, and whatever sounds good these days.  I’m doing a lot of inner mind healing and focus on bringing in the joy and then I’m exploring other authors and what they are all about so I can develop my storytelling muscles.  I want to know why Nicholas Sparks is so damn popular and every one of his books are made into movies, I want to know why people love Anne Lamott’s memoirs and self-reflections, I want to know why everyone finds this new Jen Lancaster is so witty and hilarious.  I’m learning how to write from scratch, I’m in my own self-made writing college so to speak.

The popular authors out there give tips and the two tips I have gleaned from them all is to read a LOT of books by other authors and edit, edit, edit.  I haven’t much time or patience for either task but I keep trying.  I like all kinds of books from all kinds of styles and authors, but the last two times I was really addicted to an author or story line was; once with the the Twilight Series, and who wasn’t.  Those books were all like 1000’s of pages long and I read them all within weeks (I was single without children back then) and the next time I was pregnant with Sam and I became addicted to Amish fiction.  I read stacks and stacks from the library.  I have no idea what that was all about.  Only I could go from vampires to the Amish.

It is good to read a lot, a lot, and a bunch.  Read all kinds of books and genres, authors, and styles if you want to get ideas.  The best thing I ever did to develop my skills was to start a blog and write every day.  It is a part-time, daily job.  It helps you expand and improve, find your personality through expressing yourself in the written word, it stimulates the mind and the more you think and write…the more ideas and writing you have.  My goodness, I have , physically, a small world over here in my  cottage, but I’m never out of thoughts!  And the more I read, the more stimulated I am to create a story or two.

I was once told to write about what you know and stick to that.  It doesn’t work to write about things we aren’t interested in or connected to emotionally.  The writing will be flat.  However, I’m at a stand still right now.  I love talking about homemaking, self-improvement, and the budget, and I’m still honing my skills on all three plus more but I’ve beaten the homemaking horse to many deaths.  I have written all the books I can write on household budgets and cleaning techniques.  Sure, I can blog about it all the way to my retirement, but no more books.  Then the self-improvement has been done and at this time I’m deep in my own workshop of self-exploration on the way to better living.  I am really not into romance and as for mysteries…finding my reading glasses is a daily mystery to me and figuring out why I decided that the frig was a good place for the dishwasher detergent was the other recent mystery.  Those are my mysteries and that is as clever as I can get on that topic.

So, the education continues and eventually I will find that next book.  I’m excited to see what comes from all this work and study.

Many Blessings!



6 thoughts on “Home based writing college. Or how to become a better writer through self education.

  1. again, i would add ‘the artist’s way’ to your list of books to read. very, very, very good information and exercises to expand yourself, healing and creativity… 🙂


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