Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Setting Writing Goals—Step Two

100_5048Once I decided that I wanted to write for a larger audience than just myself, I made a goal to improve my writing skills.

The nice thing is that now there are so many ways of learning the writing craft.

Writing Blogs

Reading writing blogs are fantastic ways to get tips on handling problem areas like sagging middles, POV issues, and transitioning between scenes. If you look in my blog roll and underneath my daily posts, there are fantastic writers/bloggers who share their challenges and insights. I have way too many favorites to list them all here, but I consider each of these writers my friends. Each blogger has his or her own blog roll—so you can find even more great writers to connect with and learn from.

Some blogs focus on craft nearly every day. Here are some blogs to get you started: The Other Side of the Story, Fiction Groupie, Write it Sideways, Adventures in Children’s Publishing (not just for children’s lit writers), Magical Words, and Plot to Punctuation.

Critique Groups

If your town has a local writers’ group, check and see if they have critique groups. Or, join an online one, like Critique Circle. For tips on starting your own critique group, see this post on Kirby’s Lane.

Independent Editors If you’ve gone as far with your revisions and edits that you feel you can, consider contacting an independent editor. Not only can they point out things you might not see yourself, but you can learn a lot from them. There are several that visit my blog, including Helen Ginger, Marvin Wilson, and Crystal Clear Proofing.

Classes and Workshops

Here are some links to online organizations and sites that sponsor online classes and their calendar of upcoming workshops. The classes range from $15 to $50. Many of the classes are taught by working writers.


Conferences can be another way (a bit more expensive, but many conferences are starting to go online) to learn more about the writing craft—and, of course, network.

I found this list of 2011 writing conferences on Jodie Renner’s blog.

Books about Writing

Everyone has their favorites. :) There are many that are specific to particular genres, too. As far as general books on writing, I like On Writing by Stephen King, and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.

Magazines about Writing

There are also subscriptions that can help you get information on writing. I’ve subscribed to Writer’s Digest, Poets and Writers, and The Writer.

And then there’s….writing. Practicing each day, or as often as you can. And I’ll cover that in the post tomorrow. :)

Do you have any favorite writing resources for writers trying to learn more about the craft?