Friday, November 4, 2016

Writing Education - A Never-Ending Story

Writing Education - A Never-Ending Story
By Bruce Brady @BDBrady007

Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail (Proverbs 19:20-21 NLT).

Writing is continuing education.

In research science and academia there’s a saying, publish or perish. May I be so bold as to coin a phrase? Learn or burn.
Our readers constantly want more—and better—from us. They want to understand the trials they face and read prose that offers hope in an increasingly hopeless world. Their loyalty is dependent on our growing as writers—and people.

But what is the best way for us to learn?

It depends on our individual personalities. And our life-limitations. I tend to favor writer conferences over other forms because they provide advanced level, interest-specific classes taught by top industry professionals. They also afford us the opportunity to meet and befriend agents, editors, publishers, and other writers. While I think these conferences are the best option, they can be cost or time prohibitive.

Not to fret, though. There are several other options.

Many local writer groups offer educational opportunities through critique meetings and workshops. These groups have writers of all experience levels who meet regularly to help each other achieve individual writing goals. I especially like those who read and critique from a reader’s viewpoint, using positive critique methods. Check your local libraries, newspapers, and the internet to find one in your area. I’m honored to be involved with Word Weavers International, a great choice in my opinion. It’s co-founder, Eva Marie Everson, is an award-winning, bestselling author who is still actively involved as the president. Details can be found at

If you don’t have or can’t attend a local critique group, online groups are available. Word Weavers also has Online Chapters that bring together writers from all over the world. These small groups become families who deeply care about each member’s life and writing success. And I can say they’ve helped make me a better writer.

There are some great college courses all across the country. Particularly notable is the Professional Writing program at Taylor University in Indiana. Dr. Dennis E. Hensley is the Director of Professional Writing. This program is unique because its students earn income from their writing while in school and graduate with a professional writing portfolio. Start with for more information.

Books, books, and more books. Many professionals have written great books on writing. Like conferences, we can choose those that best suit our genre and writing style. They can provide college level teaching in a much shorter time frame at a minimal cost. Check your local and online libraries, bookstores, and to find the right ones for you. If you have some favorites, please list them in the comments.

Award-winning websites and blogs are excellent information sources for everything about the writing life and process. You can start right here with The Write Conversation, founded by recognized social media expert Edie Melson. This blog has received top writing blog awards for several years running. Bestselling author Jerry B. Jenkins has started an online training course at And there are several others. The best way to find the right one for you is search for these sites and ask trusted writers for referrals.

These are just a few ways we can all continue our writing education. Honing our craft is important because it’s expected by our readers and it helps assure our continued success.

If we choose to cease learning, we choose to end our writing careers before they begin.

How about you? Are you searching for opportunities to start or improve your own writing? Already involved in continuing education? What methods do you find most helpful? Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments.


Bruce Brady is an author, writer and playwright. His work has appeared in Focus on the Family’s Thriving Family,, and on stage. Currently, Bruce is working on a Young Adult Novel about a boy who must deal with the death of his dad, being bullied, and helping his mom through her grief. His first five pages took third place in the ACFW South Carolina Chapter’s “First Five Pages” contest.

When he’s not writing, Bruce spends time learning from and helping other writers. He serves as Mentor of Word Weavers International’s Online Chapter, and as a member of Cross ‘N’ Pens, The Writer’s Plot, ACFW’s National and South Carolina Chapters.

“My dream is to entertain my readers and give them hope as they travel the rocky road of life.”


  1. I've spent my life trying to improve my writing--a craft in which Hemingway says, "No one ever becomes a master." Doesn't mean we should stop striving!

    Thanks for the post. Pinned & shared.

    1. I agree, Linda, with Hemingway and you. Our education must continue to keep our stories fresh and appealing. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Learn or burn ... very clever, Bruce. Love it. Thanks for another great post.

    1. Thanks, Andrea, for your comment and your loyalty.