Should You Take a Writing Course?

Every day there are courses offered for writers.  There are online courses and there are writing coaches who will help you walk through the steps of writing.  (I know of several if you would like me to refer you).  Do you have to take a course or have a degree to be a writer?  No.

Just get writing and see where the path leads you.

Do what suits your personality and skill level.  If you feel a course will help, sign up.  If a writing group is of interest, join one.  

Grow it at your own pace.  You should know when you're ready to take the next step of publishing a blog, writing a query letter, sending an article to a content site editor, signing up for personalized coaching, or sending a manuscript to an agent. 


The point is, there is no set path for a writer. 

The field of writing can be tough on you, though.  You will have editors rip your work apart. You will see yourself making dumb errors and feel embarrassed when important people point them out.  You will get rejections and hurt feelings.

Good writers take the pain in stride.  They take what they're dished and pour it back into their writing to be used for good.

A great way to test your skills is to put a piece past an inexpensive proofreader or editor to see how you fair.  Another way is to send it to an article site--preferably  one that has editors that will scrutinize your work before posting it.  If an editor in a situation like this offers you writing tips, take them and learn.

Writing - Where to Start

I've always loved writing and have looked for ways to make money writing.  Finally I've found it--creating web content articles, blog info and fillers, for pay. 

Sometimes the craving in our heart just needs the world to catch up to it.  Now that there is the World Wide Web there are so many opportunities for writers. 

Thank goodness for technology and virtual work!

Years ago, I started with a simple blog.  I began it never thinking I would actually publish it, have followers or get business from it.  But I have.  Not only that, blog writing has given me the opportunity to release my writing cravings.  I need to write.  I have to write.

Since then I have a few other blogs on the go and a website

So, if you're thinking of starting a blog or investigating writing opportunities, take the plunge.  Just get writing.  Leave your work to simmer (work that you plan to sell, that is) and go back to edit it in a day or two. 

This is a start.

Improve Your Writing Skills

The best way to improve on your writing is to write, then go back in a few days and re-read what you've written. 

A second way is to write and then ask an outside writer, proofreader or editor to give you feedback.

A third way is to write and submit your work to a site that screens it through an editor.  Then take heed to the feedback, if any is offered.

Blogging is another great way to grow your writing skills.  You are nudged to update your blog, and thus write.

One suggestion of how not to test your writing skills is through contests.  Many contests are set up to earn money off new writers who pay an entry fee.  Your piece may not even be read.  Look for other ways to have your writing viewed and then try to sell your writing, not the other way around!

Whats the ROI for your Reader?

I am saddened when I learn of a woman who has written books that aren't selling.There are many reasons books don't sell. It may have to do with marketing, reach, quality of writing and, of course, the subject matter. But one reason I've identified is that many writers make their book about telling their story more than about offering a reader something he or she needs or wants to know.

If the story is juicy or inspirational, then it makes sense to tell the story. But even life stories or memoirs can be converted into self-help books. It's all about how the writer chooses to sculpt the book. 


Look at the writing of author Joyce Meyer, for instance.  Her readers know much of her life story because she's shared tidbits of it as analogies throughout her various books. But her books are never about her life path alone. Her books are about helping her audience solve some problem. 

You too can do this if you choose to. Consider what lesson you want to share with your reader. Choose the parts of your life story that best demonstrate the lessons and write an abbreviated version of the story.   


What is ROI?


Aside from the eBooks I write, I'm also a web content article writer. I write on a variety of topics customers use in print publications and in online websites and so on. When I write my articles, I try to have an ROI--Return on Investment for the reader. That is, I try to give them something in exchange for the time they've given to read my article. 


I want my reader to learn something new, to become motivated, or better informed. I want my readers to discover easily understood takeaways. One book for writers I read so long ago (I can't remember its name) suggested every page have a takeaway, suspense or something to make the reader want to turn the page. 


If your book doesn't have an easily understood takeaway, perhaps you should take a second look. Finish 
these sentences:


This book will give the reader hope about ______; this book will give the reader greater faith or inspiration because __________; the reader will feel a greater sense of ________ after reading this book because _____________. This book will help the reader take this type of action ___________.

There is so much more to say on this subject, but I'll save it for another post.  In the meantime, feel free to share your comments below.