The Craft of Craft
I speak frequently at various children's book writers and illustrators conferences and have become something of a craft junkie. While I thoroughly enjoy talking with authors and illustrators about the business of publishing and the market place, I'm relishing more and more the opportunities coming my way to talk with authors and illustrators about the craft of writing.
I aspire to be a writer--beyond the occasional (very occasional!) blog posts--but please don't go asking me what I want to write or what I'm going to write, because I just don't know yet. I have ideas. I have stories. I have sentences. I have characters. They're swirling. They're churning. They're waiting. And while they're waiting for me to get cracking, I'm finding it utterly inspiring to my writer self to be able to think about, teach, and practice the elements of the craft of writing with other writers at all stages of their writing journeys.
"Craft" stems from a Middle English word that means strength, skill. By definition craft is both skill and strength. How splendid then to have opportunities to strengthen a skill and better our craft. The more skilled, the more strong. The more strong, the more skilled. I am chasing every opportunity I can to work on craft. And as I help strengthen the craft of others, I feel my own craft being strengthened at the same time. The crafting of our craft never ends. And that's the beauty of it, as it opens us up to surprises about our stories and ourselves.
I'm delighted to be speaking at several craft-based conferences this year, including on the faculty of the Ventana Sierra Advanced Writers Workshop in Carson City, NV, in June (http://ventanasierraworkshops.com/):
and as the teacher for the Noepe Center of Literary Arts Children's Book Writing Workshop on Martha's Vineyard island in July (http://noepecenter.org/emma-dryden-childrens-book-writing-workshop/):
I can't wait to dig in with manuscripts, ideas, suggestions, writing exercises, writing tools, conversation, challenge, inspiration. Into the garden of craft we will go, turning over the earth, planting seeds, cultivating, and growing. What surprises await us?