10 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Writing
We all know as writers we are always looking for ways to get better at what we do.. Here are 10 things you can do to improve your writing. Not in any order.
1 Develop a Bio/Something to promote
Promoting an idea or a piece of writing that has yet to be published is difficult. You can still promote yourself. In this case, a website or blog is invaluable. Write a bio and the things you are working on. When you get your first publication, you have somewhere to make a big to-do about it. You won’t have to go to a message board and type out a huge explanation; you can direct people to your site.
2. Circle of friends
Try to develop some community of people to deal with as friends. These can be “real” life friends who you see every day, or they can be friends from social media sites. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok all have communities for writers. Twitter has an outstanding community #WritingCommunity. Many writers on Twitter will even be beta readers, and this is what you are looking for. You are looking for writers to give you feedback on your work. Find a community and find feedback.
3. Message boards/communities
Find friends and places where you and your ideas are accepted. Put your website in your signature, and tell people about your writing. You can gain some exposure, and it is an overall part of the whole presence on the web. See Joshua Minton’s article on our site for more information.
Do real readings! See if your local coffee house will let you do a reading. Do they have an open mic? I am always shocked at how many people get interested in a writer’s work by seeing that writer give a reading.
Learn the craft of writing with others. It means you get feedback and some pointers. You also get to meet fellow writers with similar interests. Online workshops are suitable. “Real” workshops are helpful as well. Let people know you and your writing.
Get your work out there. Find book publishers or magazines that will take your work. Post your bio and links with what you’ve written. You might want to send your best work to print magazines, but publishing online could bring 1000s of people reading your work. It also allows you to direct readers to your blog or website. Publishing on the web alone is not enough, but when each piece published points back to you or your product, it can be effective.
7. Web presence
It is the all-around most crucial issue when promoting your writing. It would be best if you created an overall web presence. A website or blog, Myspace, places you’ve been published, communities you are a part of, your overall web presence. One of the best ways to promote your work on the web is to develop this presence and keep it up. Joshua Minton does an excellent job on this subject in his article.
8. Writing Program
An MFA or BFA program is a big commitment. I recommend this to only some. Certain writers will be drawn to this path. There are a lot of excellent writers out there, successful writers with MFAs. It doesn’t mean it is necessary, but it is one avenue of honing your work and creating a better product. I’ve met some writers who use this time to “get away” from their day jobs and get back to writing. It is one more tool that can be used but may not be necessary.
An agent is usually a must if you are trying to publish a fiction manuscript. Check up on agents. NEVER PAY the agent. NEVER PAY for editing, and NEVER PAY. If your agent asks you to pay for postage, find another agent. An agent is meant to be someone who knows the business that can negotiate your behavior and be honest with you at the same time. Their job is to promote your unpublished work. They do this because they feel your work is worth the money. They will make money when you publish, and there is no need to charge you upfront.
10. Keep Writing
It is simple. Keep writing, keep creating, keep publishing, and keep trying. Writers, especially young writers, do not understand that a writer’s career is generally long. If you love writing, you need to keep writing. I know and am always hearing about writers over 50, 60, and 70 publishing for the first time and then having successful careers. It can and does happen. It just takes perseverance.
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