The blog’s just starting out, and there hasn’t been a post for the Writers’ Hideout. I haven’t put my own poetry or fiction on here yet, and I will do in due time, but I thought covering an issue most people will be aware of early on would be good for the site.
I’ve always thought one of the most daunting things about searching for how to improve your writing isn’t the volume of different options out there but to what extent you use them, especially when it comes to online sources or looking for what books to read. This used to, and still does, make it hard for me when I’m trying to figure out which medium of improvement I should be using whenever I want to address a problem that I come across in my writing.
Part of the reason for me doing this post is because I couldn’t find anything on the web that gave advice on how to approach the search for methods used to improve writing skills. I’ve always assumed that writing groups, tutoring, books, essays and the internet are the most common ways in which most aspiring writers try to improve their abilities. During the past few years I’ve gone through each of the routes mentioned, (although I haven’t been to university, I have paid for classes) and certainly all of the time I have invested in them has (I still attend a writing group) paid off:
From attending a writing group I get to see how others write, get tips that I doubt I’d ever come across anywhere else, encouragement, constructive feedback on a regular basis and info provided on things I might have missed.
Surfing the internet is always good for quick corrections and the usual top ten tips that are all over the web.
Tutoring was probably the most beneficial move for me. It gave me the opportunity to have my work dissected by a pro and to receive a vast amount of tips and advice.
Reading craft books I think is similar to having a tutor although I find gaining results from them a bit slower than actually having someone in front of me guiding me on what to do. However, I have definitely gained useful insight and seen an improvement in my writing abilities from them.
I find essays on writing to be more beneficial than books on writing, although they’re very similar (some pretty much the same). To me they seem more direct, almost like rule books. I still thank the late H. P. Lovecraft for his advice to young writers.
All of the routes I have taken have definitely helped improve my writing, and, from my experiences, I would recommend using several different things instead of wasting money and time overdosing on one, or all of them. The obvious thing to remember is that different things work for different people, but, by the end of whatever route you take, it’ll be you that determines how good a writer you become.
Featured image by Epicantus
Are there any tips you think need to be put forward when it comes to searching for the best ways of improving your writing? Let us know in the comments