7 Tips, Besides “Write, Write, Write,” to Become a Better Writer

by | Writing | 8 comments

image by Prawny

image by Prawny

Most writers have heard they must read, write, and rewrite often to become a better writer. True, but here are other tips to improve our writing.

  1. Subscribe to a writers’ magazine.

    I find the articles in Writer’s Digest supply fresh ideas and writing techniques. When I try them, I improve my writing.

  1. Obtain at least one critique partner.

    My partner combs my manuscript for what doesn’t work. Her comments make me rethink what I wrote. When I critique her manuscript and question something, I ask myself why what she wrote doesn’t work. Sometimes I dig into my writing references to look up the answer. From either side of the process, I learn much.

  1. image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images

    image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images

    Join a writer’s group.

    The encouragement and fellowship helps to keep us writing. During our discussions, we absorb what others have studied and shared. I’ve learned about writing trends, helpful resources, audiences, genres, and techniques. Some groups perform critiques during meetings.

  1. Attend conferences.

    For most conferences, potential workshop leaders must submit proposals and outlines of what they’ll present. Therefore, this screening usually produces workshops whose content is well thought out and worthwhile to writers. This has been my experience.

  1. Be a mentor.

    To me, mentoring someone is a big responsibility. I don’t want to lead my mentee astray, so I do my homework before I provide help, which hones my own skills.

  1. Write blog posts on writing.

    While helping other writers, researching and producing such posts helps me understand and remember the techniques and principles better. And in my archives, I have easy access to what I’ve selected as important to know.

image by bykst

image by bykst

  1. Lead a workshop.

    I started leading workshops in my writers’ group. Preparing writing examples for what I presented stretched me to come up with ones that truly showed the technique. Later, I applied to lead workshops for a conference. The prep work for the workshops helps embed in my memory what I present.

These tips will grow you as a writer. They’ll help you learn writing techniques, principles, and style. But the work involved also helps you own what you learn.

7 Tips to become a better writer that are in addition to “read, write, and rewrite.” Click to tweet.

Which of these tips, or other tips, have you tried and found the most helpful?

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American Christian Fiction Writers

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  1. mimionlife

    Great information. Thank you. 🙂

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      I’m glad you found the tips helpful, Mimi.

  2. Tanya Hanson

    Super-helpful hints, Zoe. I confess I am usually in such a rush these days I don’t get my wips to my crit partner in time before a deadline. Sheesh.

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Tanya, especially when I’m nearing the end and am trying to get my manuscript out, it’s hard to wait, but I’m fortunate to have a partner that tries to fit my chapters in to speed things along.

  3. Bonnie Winters

    Zoe, I have been mentoring the gals in my writing group for years. That has definitely been the most helpful thing for me in my writing. It’s just like teaching Sunday school to learn more about the Bible. LOL!

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Bonnie, I can identify with learning in teaching Bible studies. Thanks for sharing your experience with mentoring.

  4. Marcia

    Oui! Oui! Oui! Beneficial suggestions for sharpening and elevating our writing. Thank you. Also, taking the ACFW online classes helped me. I could better understand deep point of view and the difference between showing and telling. I was challenged to use setting and description to bring my readers into my story. I got feedback from classmates and instructors on our assignments. Zoe, what are you teaching at the ACFW (Virginia) conference October 22?

    • Zoe M. McCarthy

      Thanks, Marcia, for adding taking online classes (taking of teaching). I’m leading a workshop on 5 tips to make your scenes stand out.

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