Developing your writing skills: self-improvement for writers.

How many of us take time out of our busy writing schedules to focus specifically on improving our ability to write?

I called a friend of mine recently (we share the same writing passion) to pass on some vital information and after the usual chit-chat I asked him what he was doing at that particular time. It was a Saturday morning. He told me that he had allocated that whole day for reading; reading articles, eBooks and stuff he had gotten from the internet to help sharpen his writing skills. I thought to myself, what a lovely idea, devoting a whole day to an activity that doesn’t involve writing but contributes to your writing career!

 

Do writers have to spend all their waking hours scribbling or typing away till their fingers ache? I don’t think so. I believe there is a place for investing in self-improvement to become even more productive. Take some time off your routine writing and think about activities you can engage in to make you a better writer. I know this may not be easy, especially for writers on contract or when you have a number of clients waiting but remember that your future as a writer depends on what you do today. The sum of activities and decisions made in your present are a good indication of future outcomes. Try to invest in your tomorrow today.

You may be asking, so what can I do to improve my writing skills?

For starters, ask yourself where you want to be in the next 2 – 5 years. What kind of a writer do you want to be? Are you likely to change what you are doing now, e.g. from writing articles for sale to writing your own books and publishing? The goals you have set for your writing career will determine what you need to do. However, there are those basic things that every writer must engage in to develop themselves further regardless of their particular interests. My favorite one is reading (I wrote an earlier post on this entitled The Reading Writer. You can find it in the archives). Another one is mentorship or being mentored.

Let’s talk about these items next time. For now, keep mulling over what you need to do to develop yourself as a writer.

All the best,

Edna.

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