I faced a writing crossroads a few years ago, at which I decided to take my writing deeper. I had completed the Guild’s Apprentice and Journeyman courses and wanted more—but what? Journeyman was the highest level offered.
That week CWG announced its first Craftsman course. I signed up immediately.
Mentor pushed improvement
I worked with my mentor for a year to brainstorm a novel. Then I started writing. By the end of the course, I had a proposal worth presenting to editors and agents.
My mentor’s encouraging critiques pushed me to improve. His advice still echoes in my mind.
Workshop your novel
Part way through the course came the Craftsman residency—several days of intense mentoring for the class of 10 under my mentor, Jerry B. Jenkins, James Scott Bell, C. McNair Wilson, and Chris Fabry. (See Jerry’s article on the value of a residency in the October issue of WordSmith.)
That team examined the first few chapters of our novels under a microscope. Major flaws became obvious. Strengths were encouraged. New skills developed.
Community strengthens all
In addition to learning from the instructors, we students learned from each other. From our first uncertain moments, or perhaps even because of them, came a bond of friendship and support the 10 of us still treasure.
Are you willing to invest the time, effort, and money the Craftsman course takes? You will get out of it all you put into it.
Don’t let fear keep you from pursuing your calling. If you asked the students in my Craftsman class whether the course was worth it, I have no doubt you would hear a chorus of “Yes!”
React: If you are a Craftsman alum, share your best takeaway from the course.
Danielle Grandinetti is a graduate of the Apprentice, Journeyman, and Craftsman courses. She has loved reading and writing since grade school and enjoys writing teen fiction and reading mystery, adventure, and historical novels.