3 Ways to Raise Your Writing Game

By on September 15, 2011

woman working at computerBy Donna Kastner –

With the growth in social media, if you’re an entrepreneur looking to connect with an audience, there are many routes to be published (and heard) on the web. That said there’s also a lot of “noise” out there. Those who devote time to sharpen their writing skills are being rewarded with strong and loyal communities of followers.

How’s your writing game shaping up? Are you a writer – or a person who writes? There’s a difference.

People who write…

  • Tend to celebrate quantity over quality.
  • Work several projects simultaneously.
  • Are often rushing to meet deadlines.
  • “Push” out far more content than they “pull” in.
  • See writing more as a task than a craft. Blog post done? Check.

But experienced writers view things in a different way.

  • They stop to think about the WHY before they put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard).
  • They’re big on keeping journals to capture ideas and love to read the works of others.
  • After a first draft is completed, they allow sufficient cool-down time for better edits.
  • As they develop a piece, they’ll read it aloud to make sure the words flow smoothly.
  • They appreciate savvy editors who prune their words to perfection.

As for me, I’m a work-in progress, striving to earn my way from one category to the next. Through the years, I’ve found a number of ways to improve my writing skills. If you’re looking to do the same, here are three ideas that helped me:

  • Take a Class: It all started 20+ years ago with a Writer’s Digest correspondence course. I was paired with an incredible magazine editor and each month, I’d send out my next batch of assignments. With a one-week turnaround, she sent them back; chock full of edits and suggestions. At the time, our children were preschoolers and my husband traveled quite a bit, so this distance learning model kept me on track and steadily improving.
  • Join a Writers’ Group: My next learning venture was to join a group of eight writers who met weekly at the charming cottage of a college professor. She would read aloud passages from each of our works and the group would engage in some candid and constructive discussions about how to make it better. Not only was this a great way to road test my writing, but it provided an extra measure of accountability. Without deadlines, writing tends to go on the side-burner.
  • Submit Articles On Spec: Back in the 90s, there were no blogs, but there were plenty of magazines looking for articles. I sent my fair share of spec work out before landing a few ongoing paid assignments. And here’s the important part: With practice, I kept improving. If you want to be a better writer, just write. Find your voice and niche, and keep on writing.

Today, I’m thrilled to contribute articles here at the Living Better at 50+ blog. It all starts with one step. Try it and you’ll be amazed at how far those steps will take you!

Professionally, Donna Kastner is an author, editor, sales trainer, blogger and people connector. Personally, Donna is a mom, wife and friend. Donna leads Enlighten 123, a sales and management performance development practice. Ever the innovator, through Retirepreneur, she’s also helping boomers to explore if starting a business might be their best segue to retirement. You can reach Donna through her websites:  http://www.enlighten123.com/ and http://www.retirepreneur.com/.

About Donna Kastner

Professionally, Donna Kastner is an author, editor, sales trainer, blogger and people connector. Personally, Donna is a mom, wife and friend. Donna leads Enlighten 123, a sales and management performance development practice. Ever the innovator, through Retirepreneur, she's also helping boomers to explore if starting a business might be their best segue to retirement. You can reach Donna through her websites: www.enlighten123.com and www.retirepreneur.com

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3 Ways to Raise Your Writing Game