Mastering the Craft

By Angela Breidenbach

The master musician mesmerized me with the sounds of an orchestra on a 37-string concert harp. The music wove a trance around me, drew me into the magical space outside of reality. I sat enthralled and in awe of the skill in those hands. I dream of playing the harp. Sitting so close, experiencing the thrill of someone doing what I hope to do, inspired me.

After his performance, I had a chance to speak to the master musician. I asked him question after question. Shared a mutual understanding of music. We bonded over the workmanship of his instrument. I touched it with reverence. He shared with me his joy of playing the harp since kindergarten, that he’d built his own concert harp, and grew up in a family where the men all perform with the Paraguayan harp. He invited me to play. I’m musically talented as a trained singer. I had a couple of years of piano, several years of oboe, and can read music easily. I balked because I knew what he didn’t. I don’t yet have any of the skills required to play the harp regardless of how much talent I may have (or not) musically. No matter how much I admired his skills and desired them for myself, I had not taken a lesson or ever played a harp. Plucking a string would not a master harpist make. Oh, how I want to be!

The skill of the craft matters. Gaining skill takes lessons, practice, and intentional growth to master the art of music just as it does the art of writing. Talent is nice, but without the skill, professional performance is impossible.

The craft of writing creates a symphony of music through written words. The art is in the voice, arranging, delivery, rhetorical devices, plot, and more. Without understanding the elemental basics, writers have a tough time performing for an audience. Without the advanced levels, writers can’t deliver a concert level performance to transfix and transport the reader into that enthralled, magical space outside of time and place.

Come join us at the Writing From A Bleeding Heart Conference June 26-29, 2019 and gain the skills to write your story so you can inspire others.

Angela Breidenbach is a bestselling Montana author, genealogist, and radio personality. Nationally, Angela serves as president for the Christian Authors Network (CAN). With a volume of media appearances and speaking engagements, Angela loves to share her knowledge to help others. She often speaks and trains for organizations such as the Christian Booksellers Association, UNITE, the Christian Authors Network, and a myriad of writing conferences on platform, various facets of marketing, and the craft of writing,  as well as family history and becoming a woman of confidence, courage, and candor. Angela is often asked to speak on her experience as a daughter of a schizophrenic. She has one foot in researching history and genealogy and the other as a 21st Century techie enthusiast.