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What are the Best Ways to Improve as a Writer?

I think as writers we are always trying to improve our craft, but sometimes it’s hard to tell if we are improving, or just pushing forward.  These are some of the suggestions I’ve been given to continue improving, so I thought I would share them:

  • Writing– practice doesn’t make perfect, but it does help
  • Critique groups– finding like-minded people to give you honest answers
  • Workshops or Classes– learning from people with more experience
  • Reading Books on Writing– new ideas can always be helpful
  • Blogs– reading blogs from other writers is a quick way of learning something new

Most people believe if they write a lot, they will become the kind of writer they want to be, but I disagree.  Practice can help, but as a teacher, I know that it takes more than just writing to get better.  Sometimes we are simply limited by our own strengths and weakness, and we can benefit from someone with more experience helping us.

From my experience, a writing group has been one of the most beneficial things I could have done to help myself in becoming a better writer.  When I receive feedback from other writers, I improve as a writer, and when I give feedback, I learn through identifying others strengths and weaknesses.  There are a lot of sites online you can visit to help meet other writers in your area, and I would suggest checking these out, if you feel you could benefit from the experience of other writers.

One thing I haven’t done yet is view online writing workshops.  I’ve taken writing classes in the past, but I love the idea of taking a workshop on a topic specific to what I’m struggling with.  Many of the writers I work with swear by writing workshops, so I think this will be my next step.

What other ways help you to improve as a writer?  What do you think has helped you the most?

Leave a comment

3 Comments

  1. I have to say that I think you missed a very important one, and that is to have beta readers. Your alpha readers, or work groups, can give you a critical eye for sure, but sometimes they read too much into it or focus on the wrong thing. I’d say the same for betas, but if you can get the right ones to know what they are looking for, they can be indispensable.

    Reply
  2. I’m intrigued by this. How do you go about finding bets readers? What do you think is the most valuable thing they offer?

    Reply
  3. I completely agree with you that getting feedback is essential. Would also add “read a lot & analyze what you like” to the list.

    I’m curious: do you think the question about how to be better is rooted in a sense of not being good enough, as I suggest in my blog post? goo.gl/uivjd

    Reply

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