Well, I guess I’ll go next. My name is Fred, and I really liked Tananrive’s description of “learning writers” on the Writing Excuses Cruise. It fits where I am right now, having been a decent essayist during my college years and then spending an inordinate amount of time working (as a line cook, a security guard, an office temp, an Administrative Assistant, a Business Analyst, an IT guy…) and not doing much creative stuff for an awfully long time. I’ve dabbled in music (after years of piano lessons and a gig as a church organist during high school), martial arts (2 years of Goju-Ryu in college, more recently Ving Tsun kung fu), alternative religions, Steampunk, leatherworking, chain mail, and now writing.
I started learning creative writing after getting fed up with a particular series of vampire urban fantasy novels, telling myself that I could write a more sympathetic character than this protagonist. About a week later, I discovered that it was harder than it looked, but I was having fun, so I didn’t quit. Tried NaNoWriMo a couple of times, joined a writing group with my wife and a couple of friends, bought a bunch of books on craft, and kept poking at it. More recently, I discovered Writing Excuses, went on both cruises (2015 and 2016), and realized the truth behind Steven’s advice above – it’s hard (for me, anyway) to really learn on a novel-length project, especially as a learning writer. I picked up Damon Knight’s book on Creating Short Fiction, signed up for Mary Robinette Kowal’s Short Story Intensive a few months ago, and completed my first short story draft just in time for the WREX cruise, where I learned about this workshop.
My writing interests lean toward urban fantasy and steampunk, though I could see myself slipping back into horror after some further study.