Which writer will you apprentice yourself to this year?

What do I mean by which writer will you apprentice yourself to?

Who are your favourite writers?

What stories have you read in your life that have left echoes, tattoed themselves onto your heart?

These are the writers to whom you have the opportunity to become apprenticed.

How exactly do we do this?

The Apprentice Approach

Quite simply, these writers and stories are the places we can return to when we are unsure of ourselves. We can return for solace – we read, after all, to know we are not alone. We can look to them for inspiration – their words might remind us why we set sail on the Good Ship Writing in the first instance. But they might also have more gifts to offer than we’re taking up. They can also show us how to write, how, specifically to improve our own writing…

  • Not sure if your intro is hitting the right note? Go and see how your writer-of-choice opens their stories.
  • What does a cliffhanger look like at the end of the chapter?
  • How do they locate their story? And, importantly when do they give those descriptive details that invite us fully into their worlds?
  • How do they describe characters?
  • Why does that story sing in your soul all day long? Where specifically did the gold get buried?

Navigating writing with another writer

As writers, we’re extraordinarily lucky. Others have crossed this terrain before. The route has already been undertaken. We are not alone in this endeavour of ours to get the words onto the page, to tell our stories.

And this does not reduce or remove the uniqueness or the validity of us telling our story now. We still need to brave forward, push pen onto paper, machete or magic wand in hand. We still need all our creative steel and sourcery to face down the beasties as they emerge from our imaginative jungles. No one else has ever been you at this moment in time, the jar containing the message that seeks an audience with the world. No one else can or will tell that story you have in the way you will – and we need that story, all those stories.

But there are enough battles to fight, in life as in art. Figuring out how to write our stories by working solo in full grind mode, just seems like an unnecessary one to add to the already too-long list. Apprenticing ourselves to another writer or their work offers an alternative, enabling us to pursue our art through love and in love. And that’s the route I’m certainly opting for.

Which writer(s) will you be apprenticing yourself to this year?

My list includes Alice Munro, Daphne Du Maurier and Jhumpa Lahiri – and over the next few weeks, I will share with you how I’m working with these craftswomen of writing…

What about your writing?

If you are interested in finding some time for your writing, why not join one of our free weekly writing rooms – either on a Tuesday evening at 8pm or a Friday lunchtime at 12pm?

If you’d like to have a chat about your own writing project and ideas you can book a free 30-minute chat with me via Calendly

If you’re interested in attending future writing courses and workshops, please contact me directly

And if you’re looking for some weekly insights and writing tips, why not sign up to my newsletter here.


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