For the writer, there are many resources. Dedicated writing magazines, online courses, social media groups and, perhaps the most constant, good local writing groups. Not groups where everyone sits around saying how wonderful the piece you just read is, but ones where someone says, 'there is too much backstory there' or why don't you try turning that sentence round to give it more impact' or 'that's a bit long winded. Trim it down, you are losing the reader'. Groups like this are worth their weight in platinum.
However, here, I want to talk a bit about writing schools, two in particular. I went to the Writing Holiday in Caerleon two years ago. The school has since moved to Fishguard, but I cannot believe that the quality of the courses run during the week will have diminished. For one glorious week, we enjoyed tutorials on all genres as well as one-off presentations and evening speakers. Surrounded by writers, some experienced, some less so, but all happy and willing to talk about their writing process and help with any glitches your work is suffering, the week was a complete joy.
Next month I shall be attending my first Swanwick Writing School in Derbyshire. I know from the programme that I shall be reinvigorated, get lots of ideas and return home on a high. Course options are many - from poetry, through travel to scriptwriting. I shall work to my strengths and interests, taking the novel writing course, historical fiction, CSI investigation techniques, twist in the tale shorts and psychological thrillers. And in the middle of all this mayhem and murder, I will socialise with my fellow writers, receive and, hopefully, give support to beginners and make new friends in "my" community.
I can't wait.