Saturday, March 31, 2012

Five Ways to Improve Your Writing

 by Cindy R. Williams

Writing is a lifelong pursuit, a work in progress. Writers should always be growing and learning. Here are five simple ways to improve your writing.

1.  Attend Writers conferences. Writers conferences are set up with a goal of having a little something for everyone. You will not only gain information on how to be a better writer, but you will also rub shoulder with other writers from beginners to published to famous. You will learn what to do with your baby once it done. Agents and editors love conferences. They hope to meet the next big sellers there. It could be you. ANWA hosts one of the best writers conferences available. Make plans now to save up for ANWA conference 2013 on February 21 - 23. The cost is usually between $155 - 185 which is a huge bargain compared to other conferences. It is well worth every penny. Just ask anyone who attended this year. In fact at least three conference attendees scored a new agent or a publishing deal. The ANWA Writers conference was just a month ago, so I expect more success stories yet to come. 

2.  Join and participate in a writing group. Again, ANWA comes to mind. What a great place to try out your writing wings, to let your newest chapter, essay, poem, or family history story take a spin in the real world, surrounded by other women writers that get it. I was part of another writing group not too long ago, although I learned a great deal and respect the people in that group, I did not enjoy listening to the foul language nor the graphic scenes empty of anything remotely close to morality.  You never have to worry about that with ANWA.

3.  Study. Study writing books, magazines, blogs, and websites. Take writing classes. Read books with an eye to apply the things other successful writers do. Learn skills you have yet to master.

4.  Believe in yourself. Don't let fear have it's day. When that little voice whispers or maybe even shouts, "This is garbage. No one will want to read this. You are wasting your time." Silence it! Drop kick it out to cosmos! Shake it off like an eight-legged creature crawling down you back!  Tell that little voice to go jump into the Grand Canyon, it has no business with you! 

5. Last, which should be first, . . . ponder and pray. Seek direction and guidance.

You know you have the writing gene in you, you have the gift. Use your gift now. No excuses, no fear!  Make your writing dreams and goals begin today!

3 comments:

  1. Believe it or not, the way I learned the proper structure of dialogue sentences was copying right out of a favorite novel. Not the words, but the format. As a reader I never paid attention to those details, like where the quotation marks went, or if there was a comma instead of a period. Of if the "he" in he said started in a capitalized letter or not. it was only after I started a novella did I wonder about these things. I had the distinct pleasure of passing that information, plus a bazillion other things, on to a dear friend earlier this week after he sent me his very first piece of work, a short story, for me to critique. He made all the beginner's mistakes I make all those years ago.

    But what I've learned most since joining ANWA is how to give a critique with a loving attitude, one that I hope carries across the Internet.

    I love going to ANWA conferences, and to LDStorymaker conferences (when I can make it up to Utah). I learn each and every time, and come back home filled with enthusiasm and hope of making my writing dreams come true.

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  2. I was nodding my head until your last idea. Funny I never thought about that one.

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  3. Believe in yourself and be patient is the hardest.
    Especially when you wish you learned the ABC's of writing as opposed to the term paper and professional work writing back when you learned to write term papers.

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