How do you grow as a writer?

When you’ve been writing for a number of years, you may notice improvements in the quality in your writing and sentence structure. This can also be applied to how you plan a new novel, infuse it with character and plot, and even revise existing material – leading onto the question how do you grow as a writer? Did it happen that night when you wrote 8000 words, or through patience and diligence?

I tend to believe the latter, as I become convinced of the opinion that being a “smart” writer can save time and effort and move your writing forward in ways that excessive writing cannot. For many years, you can write and write and write, but at the end of those years will come the questions: what have I written? What is its significance? Was this what I wanted, thought, or planned to write?

Writing and publishing is extremely competitive, even for the initiated. A lot of writers have unique appealing ideas and writing that can hook readers in effortlessly. Many new writers starts at the bottom rung of this ladder, struggling to get themselves across and connect with their target audience, which can especially be a problem for those who do not have many trusted friends or are too financially strapped to hire a freelance.

For struggling new writers, I recommend online or social networks where you can get feedback on your work, which is value that should not be underestimated or cast aside. Just a few eyes on your work can present you with an outside perspective, bringing to light flaws or interesting ideas on how you have constructed your story and how it may be received.

Have a plan! Don’t jump into writing heedlessly if you intend to publish and share your work. Create a clear distinction between writing for pleasure and writing for pleasure AND other people. This mind-set has helped me decide on what I want to write and how I am going to go about writing it, as well as how to write it in the language of my target audience. It might help you grow as a writer.

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About Alex James

Alex James is a freelance editor, proofreader, author and book reviewer who has a passion for science-fiction and fantasy! His writing focuses on the themes of alienation and empowerment and is inspired by his experience with Asperger Syndrome. Other sources of inspiration include Star Wars, R Scott Bakker, Isaac Asimov.

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