The One Surprising Tip That Will Make You A Better Writer

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An excellent writing course is packed full of resources that will help develop your craft. On a recent online writing course I discovered one surprising tip shines more insight into your writing than a 100-watt reading lamp. 

Alongside a battered copy of Stephen Kings On Writing, an excellent writing course takes you through the writing process from start to finish. 

Step by step you learn how to formulate, research, write, edit and pitch finished pieces that are so polished they’d make Grammar Girl proud. 

But the most surprising tip that propels your pen forward with one ‘aha moment’ after another is the one you receive from your tutor. Because even if your mum likes your tweets and your partner laughs at all your witty one-liners, you need the skilled eye of a professional to tell you those pearlers are irrelevant to the story and take up precious word space. 

Improve Your Writing Faster 

Tips, hacks, and tricks are helpful, but the real value lies in receiving feedback that glimpses in your story where those writing tips belong. 

The next time you sit down to write, the awareness from those gentle reminders helps your writing improve faster every time. 

Even published authors such as Whitebread first novel winner Hanif Kureishi, famous for declaring creative courses a waste of time, said he would “find one teacher who I thought would be really good for me.” 

Tighten Your Writing Skills

Because you can’t google Top Five Tips for [YOUR NAME HERE] to Get Better at Writing, tightening your writing skills happens when you show your work

The best writing advice can be as simple as knowing you’re over word count and being guided where to cut from, or being told your incorrect use of apostrophes weakens your strong metaphors. 

And sometimes a professional’s experience navigating past learning curves allows them to pinpoint the exact reason you know something isn’t working, but you can’t quite figure out why.  

Connect with Your Reader 

 A well-directed comment about an ending that needs a little more can send your mind to venture further than it did before.  

 Encouraged by your tutor, you find yourself willing to dig a little deeper and share more of yourself on the page.  

Which helps create a connection with your readers you may not have reached without that first teacher-student relationship. 

If you want to be a better writer, hand over your pages of prose to a professional writer and watch your writing grow to a level you didn’t know you were capable of, and one you couldn’t have got to without help.

The act of writing a piece from beginning to end may be a solitary pursuit, but improving it doesn’t have to be. Take a writing course that provides one-on-one feedback from a professional tutor. It will carry you further than the last page of any well-read book on writing.

Where To Find Professional Feedback For Your Writing

  • If you know any professional writers and/or editors, approach them to see if they would be willing to look over your work. 

  • Be sure to acknowledge their use of time and offer to give something in return. Perhaps you teach yoga or make a mean raw salad. ‘Trade swaps’ like these complement any professional’s skipped lunches and hunched-over keyboard time.

  • Take a weekend or online course that offers one-on-one tutoring with professional and award-winning writers.