10 Questions on Becoming a Better Writer

RamonaGravitarThe first step in solving a problem is recognizing you have a problem. Writers are often big quaking masses of insecurity, but zeroing in on a weak skill can be that first step in enacting change.

Take the quiz below. Answer honestly.

  1. What one skill—if improved—would make you a better writer?

  1. Is it a technical weakness, a bad habit, or a confidence or work ethic problem?

  1. How does this weak skill impact your writing now?

  1. How would improving it make you a better writer?

  1. When or how did you discover you had this issue?

  1. What have you done so far to improve or address your weak skill?

  1. What have you not done so far to improve or address this weak area?

  1. Do you want to become a better writer?

  1. If no, why not?

  2. If yes, what can you begin to do TODAY to change this one particular weak skill?

 I can’t answer these questions for anyone other than myself, but I can make suggestions. Not all may be available or appropriate, but if you want to sharpen your skills and become a better writer, it requires footwork.

 To make a change toward become a better writer:

  1. Take the quiz above and answer honestly

  2. Set a specific goal of what you want to change or improve

  3. Buy/borrow reference books and self-study your area of weakness

  4. Search the Internet for other writers’ take on the subject

  5. Take an online course

  6. Enroll in a course at a community college, senior center, library, arts group

  7. Join a group—online or face to face—that will encourage and keep you honest

  8. Work every day in some small way on your weak skill

  9. Keep a journal—even a temporary one—of how you will address and conquer your weakness

  10. Don’t give up.

Good luck!

9 thoughts on “10 Questions on Becoming a Better Writer

  1. Hear, hear! I joined two critique groups and attend as many writers conferences as I can. It’s been a great growing experience. Reading other good writers in your genre can also be a teaching tool.


    1. Good for you, Noelle, on putting your work out there for critique. You do indeed learn from good writing, but I think you also learn from critiquing others’ work–and having your own words sliced and diced.


  2. Another great post, Ramona. It’s full of tidbits that most of us know, but all too often forget. I also agree with the comment by Noelle that reading good writers can be a good (maybe the best) way to become a better writer.


  3. I enjoyed your no nonsense, no wiggle room approach. You combine focused advice with a wide range of applicability. I might have liked the entry even more if I could have closed your page & blithely resumed my three weeks long website reconstruction.
    I do need a decent website but my first commitment should be final pre-pub revisions of both “Marooned” (new Narenta novel) and my “Tree House Tales” anthology. Playing with The Scroll Chamber has been fun, but Writer Vacation is over. Time to hit the books.
    Thanks for the course correction!


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