Cultivating your writing garden
I admit to being addicted to quotes. I have kept a list for years and it grows with each book I read. “Let us cultivate our garden,” is a well-known aphorism by Voltaire. It applies to so many areas of life: relationships, work, gardening, and of course, writing.
Quite a few authors or would-be authors I speak with feel unsure or uncertain about their writing and editing skills. I get it. Most authors have spent years honing their content mastery and little of their precious “free time” on becoming better writers or editors.
But taking small gradual steps in learning the craft of writing (even a few minutes a day or week) pays off in the long run. As an example, once you learn the differences between active and passive writing, you now know that and build upon it in the future.
Your professional life undoubtedly includes communicating and probably scholarly writing. By taking time to become slightly more proficient each month, you are helping to advance your professional, research, and writing career. This increases in dividends paid for in each future effort whether it is more papers published, more funding, more recognition, or promotions.
It takes time and commitment, but it doesn’t have to overwhelm an already swamped schedule. Who can’t set aside 20 minutes each week or so to help further their career and authoring skills?
Here are some ideas on cultivating your writing garden:
- Textbook and Academic Authors Association Webinars (and many other TAA resources!)
- Writer’s Digest Webinars
- Professors as Writers: A Self-Help Guide to Productive Writing a book by Robert Boice
- Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life a book by Anne Lamott
- On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction Paperback a book by William Zinsser
- Coursera Academic Writing Courses
- Purdue Online Writing Lab
- The Expert Editor The 50 Best Apps and Resources For Writers
Set aside time for your improvement and for education. It pays big dividends in the long run, or should I say crops. Get cultivating.
John Bond is a publishing consultant at Riverwinds Consulting. He works with individuals on publishing and writing projects. Schedule an initial complimentary phone call at Publishing Fundamentals. In his career, he has directed the publishing of over 500 book titles and 20,000 journal articles. He is the host of the YouTube channel “Publishing Defined.”Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.