One of the beginning writer’s greatest desires is to learn how to be a better writer—to learn how to hone their craft. I was fortunate to sell the first things I ever wrote. I realize now that it was probably God’s way of keeping me interested until I realized this was my calling, but it wasn’t as star-crossed as it sounds. I was delighted with those early sales, but it wasn’t long before I realized that I didn’t know what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. It became my heart’s desire to find someone who could help me become a better writer—someone who would point out my weaknesses as well as my strengths.
I attended a big conference out of state with that goal in mind. Those answers weren’t easy to find, and it wasn’t until I attended the next conference that I was able to sit down with someone who could point out those specific areas.
My point in all this is that writing is a skill as much as a talent. I do believe some people have an innate talent for writing, but that talent will never reach its full potential without a lot of work and skill-building. Over the years, I have seen a lot of very talented writers fall by the wayside because they weren’t willing to put in the effort it takes to be successful in this business. At the same time, I’ve seen writers I never thought had the talent to succeed, make a credible showing as writers because they were willing to work hard to hone their skills.
The question then becomes—how do we do that? Reading how-to books and blogs is one of your first steps. Simply finding out what needs to be done and following those steps will get you off to a good start. The initial phase is read—read—read—write—write—write. There is nothing that will substitute for those basic skills. Throughout such blogs and books you will find information and suggested activities that will set you on the right road toward becoming the best writer you can be.