Growth leads to writing better books and to becoming a better person, but how do you know you are growing as an author, and what can you do to intentionally continue to grow?
Signs that You Are Growing as an Author
- When you reread your older books, you find several ways to tighten the writing and improve the plot.
- You get more and more great reviews on your books.
- You catch, and correct, more errors in your own writing.
- The editors return your book with fewer corrections.
- You recognize your own writing ruts, crutches, and words you overuse.
- You avoid overusing -ly adverbs.
- Writing comes more easily to you than it used to.
- You have formed, and keep, writing habits and goals.
- You feel more confident in the writing, editing, and publishing process.
- Your own writing teaches you lessons.
- You accept and use feedback instead of rejecting it because it hurts your feelings.
- You keep reading new books.
- You notice more mistakes in books written by others.
- You give good writing advice to aspiring authors.
- You know that while you’ve grown a lot, there is still so much more to learn.
- You are hungry to learn and to continue to improve.
- You keep writing new books.
- You no longer “want to be an author”—you are an author.
Ways You Can Continue Growing as an Author
- Try learning, and using, a new word every week.
- Read books in the genre you write in.
- Read books that are outside your interests as well, including different cultures and settings. That way, you can learn things that are unfamiliar to you and maybe even find a new passion or inspiration for a novel.
- Read well reviewed self-improvement books.
- Think about books as you read them and what lesson you can learn from them (either life lessons or writing lessons).
- Practice different writing exercises.
- Take a writing class.
- Take a class in something new, unrelated to writing.
- Try a new form of writing (short stories, poetry, humor, etc.).
- Create a writing challenge or goal for yourself.
- Think of something you personally would NEVER do—and then write a scene that shows a sympathetic and compelling reason why a character might be in that position.
- Write about a topic that is outside of your comfort zone.
- Actively ask for feedback and use it to improve your writing.
- Keep writing!
One of the beautiful things about writing is that the very act of writing can change you as a person. How have you grown as an author, and how has being an author changed you? We’d love to hear in the comments below.