Starting in March, I will be writing a monthly column for the Chinese SF magazine SF World, published in Chengdu. This came about as a result of my trip to China in August for the International Science Fiction Conference. The column will consist of advice about various aspects of science fiction writing. I'm enormously pleased about this.
For sixteen years, I did a writing column for Writers Digest, until the editorial staff, in one of its periodic revamps of the magazine, fired all the columnists at once and went to a different format. I like writing about writing, for a couple of reasons. First, it forces me to think about why I do what I do, about what works and what doesn't, and sometimes that leads to greater clarity about whatever story I've currently got under construction. Second, I enjoy knowing I'm being useful to beginners. Being useful makes me feel like I belong someplace.
Incidentally, I only just learned about another aid for beginning writers: Virtual Clarion. This is an on-line workshop sponored by Clarion, and the fee you pay to join goes to help defray Clarion's costs. You can participate in writers' groups, or you can purchase critiques donated by instructors (including me) of your work-in-progress. The URL is http://www.theclarionfoundation.org/vc-faq.htm.