C: How do you demystify the writing process? What methods make it learnable?

D: Take a writing class.

C: Do you really think taking a class is the best way?

D: Follow step-by-step instructions. Sort of like you do when you’re cooking.

C: Any other ideas?

D: Trial and error, of course. That works to learn a lot of things. You actually practice the craft, and learn how to do it as you practice. You can also incorporate feedback from readers.

C: What about apprenticeship, and tutorials?

D: Yes, those two methods often go together. You learn from an experienced craftsman that way. You have a good example to follow, and gain a lot of knowledge as you develop a relationship with your teacher.

C: What about just thinking the process through logically?

D: I wouldn’t use that method by itself. You could use it as a supplement to other methods, though.

C: What about contributions from fellow writers.

D: That’s right. Participating in a writers group is different from participating in a class. Becoming a member of a group is a good idea, if you can find the right one.

C: Can you think of any other methods?

D: Yes. Two.

C: What are they?

D: Read a lot. Read everything of quality. It’s like playing over chess games, if you want to improve your chess.

C: What’s that last method to demystify writing?

D: Don’t let it put you off, of course. It’s not a mystery! The process is open to anyone who wants to participate. Yes, you still have to learn the craft, but it’s not closed to anyone. Writing is the same as thinking. Learning to write helps you learn to think. Everyone can do that, with no mystery involved.

C: I wouldn’t say that’s a learning method, though.

D: No, it’s an outlook. If you have that attitude, the learning methods will work their way with you.