Thursday, February 1, 2018

Participation in The Writer’s Apprenticeship by Amy Christine Parker: January Recap

I’ve been meaning to write about it, but I’m doing a thing. My dear friend, Amy Christine Parker created an apprenticeship where she will study and practice the craft of writing. Every month she engages in writing activities like studying New York Times Bestsellers (especially those within her genre), reads craft books, outlines a novel, brainstorms ideas for a novel, and adds a thousand words each day to a current work in progress. She would love it if other writers created their own versions and joined in on the fun. Find out more about Amy's apprenticeship here:

When Amy first told me about the idea, I was immediately intrigued. She made the point that “apprenticeships” had gone out of style, but the greats like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci—that’s what they did. She was onto something there. And I had decided since I lost NaNoWriMo last year for the first time (still mourning that loss), I needed to figure out a way to make my writing a priority. What better way than to participate in Amy’s apprenticeship?

I was in. The only small snafu was that I knew Amy’s version was not going to fit my lifestyle. I teach anywhere from 3-5 classes at a local college, run a writing studio, run a literary magazine, freelance edit, and I ghostwrite romance novels. Where on earth was I going to find that kind of time? I decided that I could do the apprenticeship, but on my terms.

I thought about what kind of word count was realistic for me. For me, a thousand words sounded intimidating. I could, however, handle four hundred. Plus, I could knock out four hundred words a day in about thirty minutes if I focused. If I was going to get serious about my writing, then four hundred words per day for 30-40 minutes shouldn’t be too much to ask.

Then I decided that I was going to make Fridays my apprenticeship day. So, for most of the day (between the hours of 10-3), all I do is work on personal writing. I also decided that I was going to read at least 2 books per month, one should preferably be a craft book.

So how did I do for January? I completed reading 4 books, though one of those was not a craft book, and I wrote 15,905 words! Plus, out of the words I wrote, I ended up finishing my Nano novel and finishing this mini book idea I had been working on for Writer’s Atelier since last year.

If I don’t do anything else, I really want to stick to writing every day. None of the other goals are as important to me. One thing that has already come out of this is the resurfacing of my love for writing. Writing had become very laborious and less fun. I felt like I always had to be perfect or had to write things in a certain way because I wanted to get them published. Since this year and doing Amy’s apprenticeship, I feel like I’m writing for me again and that is the best feeling in the whole world.  

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