Community,  Craft

Top Ten Ways To Improve Your Craft As A Writer

Want to get better as a writer and you’re not sure how? Here are six ways to teach your self and improve your craft as a writer.

1. Read, read, read. 

Read in your genre every chance you get. Read the Classics. Read your writing buddies’ stuff. Read those literary giants that you hated in high school. Don’t just read, breath in language deeply and frequently so that beautiful words are apart of you like oxygen.  I suggest that you read a variety of books; think of your reading as consuming literary nutrients. You’ll want a balanced diet, so read fiction and nonfiction, poetry, writing craft books, and anything else you have time for. 

2. Write. Write a lot. 

Write regularly. Make it a 10-minute exercise or a 1000 words but have a regular goal and meet it. Don’t know what to write about?  Describe things around you. Vent about the rude cashier at the grocery store. Chew out that manipulative middle school girl who is making your kid cry. Or, rewrite the best first lines. Create new characters. Retell an old story. Just write.

3. Observe.

I think the very best writers are those who are good at paying attention. Even if you are new at writing, it would be good for you to practice writing everything you see. Sit at your favorite coffee shop and write about every detail you see around you. Or you look at a person and describe them or try to tell their story. Describe the objects around your home. The more you practice observations skills, the better you’ll be. 

4.  Join A Group.

In Online Writing Groups, such as Facebook’s 10 Minute Novelists, you an meet people who are little further ahead of you in your writing journey. Ask them questions. Get them to read your stuff. Receive their feedback graciously. Or, check out local organizations, perhaps through your local library, adult education centers, or community colleges. 

5. Watch videos.

YouTube has several video classes on creative writing. And K.M. Weiland’s is probably the best. These are an affordable and convenient way for you to improve your story-telling skills. Don’t just search titles on writing fiction, also look for videos on storytelling, screenwriting, graphic novels, or other types of writing. Sometimes universities offer classes this way too. You can learn a great deal by taking advantage of these opportunities.

6. Be humble and teachable.

No matter how much you’ve written or how many books you’ve sold, there’s always room to improve. And even if you were Pulitzer worthy, you’d still need to know about publishing, marketing, and social media. Be open to learning all you can. Arrogance doesn’t go far in this field.

There are thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands of resources available for the newbie writer. The hardest thing about this is choosing which one you want to do! 

Katharine Grubb is an author, poet, homeschooling mother, camping enthusiast, bread-baker, and believer in working in small increments of time. She leads 10 Minute Novelists, an international Facebook group of time-crunched writers. She lives with her family in Massachusetts.