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?


About lisamorrowbooks

Lisa Morrow is a life-long reader who treasures fantasy in all forms. Being a middle child in a large family gave her a unique perspective on the world, but few experiences compare to her time spent studying abroad in Cambridge, England and wandering throughout Europe. After her travels, Lisa settled down in Arizona to teach junior high English, and later, to spend time with her young children, husband, and cats. To some people, her life may seem quiet. But to her, every day is spent in a world colored by the imagination of children, and fantastical worlds created by her very own mind.
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2 Responses to What are the Best Ways to Improve as a Writer?

  1. forgingshadows says:

    I completely agree with marit. A good book has elements of a lot of genres, even if they are only hinted at, so it’s important to study those.

    I never liked reading books on writing. I think it’s hard to find a book that is actually about writing, and not about making a book that people will buy. All the books I have read so far tell you how to construct your story so that it sells. Of course selling is important, and many of these books give pretty good advice on pacing especially. But at the end of the day, they are formulas for writing a standard romance/mystery/fantasy/whatever, and not books that give advice on the actual writing process. I have heard that Stephen King wrote one, and that it’s great, but I’ve only ever read excerpts.

  2. marit31 says:

    writing and reading in alternate genres. i try to write fiction, so i often read poetry, biography, and non-ficiton.

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