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The year is coming to a close.

For writing, it has been a decent year. I composed two short stories, I wrote some poetry and of course, I started Snowy Fictions! But there is so much I have to learn. I also read quite a bit- from classics such as Beowulf to modern literature like A Visit From The Goon Squad. Not only that, but I kept up with the ‘book’ community. It was from all those experiences I learned a pretty decent lesson.

Writers, it isn’t enough to study ‘writing craft’ and ‘great literature.’ We must study people. For us to succeed, we must immerse ourselves into the world.

I often find that writers can be rather naive, as if they live in a bubble. Am I guilty of that? Yep! But I’m breaking out of it. What helps me is listening to podcasts and interviews. Yes, I am talking about the Joe Rogan Experience, where the L.A host talks to really fascinating people.

A small clip taken from a larger interview.

Rogan’s podcasts asks hard-hitting questions about the world. It’s a series that gets you thinking about things that you may have just shrugged at. Writers need that.

It’s not enough to ‘educate’ yourself on how the world works, you should muster bravery to ‘challenge’ how the world operates. This can be done in many ways.

For one, I love to travel, and would recommend it. Although it isn’t feasible for everyone (remember: you don’t have to go far to ‘travel’) I find it opens my eyes, and reminds me that there is more to the world that my presence. Plus, you meet terrific people!

Travel and writing is fantastic for inspiration. But also, check out your hometown or local city. I live in Sydney, Australia and there is still much I don’t know about my city. I’ve been meaning to visit the Jewish museum for a while now, and go to the ANZAC history talks by my local library.

It’s also good practice for the writer to be ‘informed’ about the world. And no, looking at Twitter does not count! Actively seek out news stories and histories from around the world. Learn languages or puzzles. Be prepared to challenge yourself. Because if you are unwilling to challenge yourself, how can your literature challenge others? Those who change the world have a great knack for self reflection.

Because of the above, I implore all writers to ‘study’ the world and human nature. But, I am not saying study the world through the lenses of a university tutor or on your Twitter feed. What I am saying is develop your critical thinking skills, your intuition, your street smarts and your intellect.

Oh, and also? Keep writing!

Comment below with any thoughts or ideas you have.

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