How To Challenge Yourself As A Writer

By on February 16, 2017
How To Challenge Yourself As A Writer - Writer's

Setting yourself challenges is an important way to learn and grow as a writer. Naturally, the easiest way to improve your writing is to keep practising it. The more you write the better you will become at it.

However, there are also plenty of exercises you can undertake and writing challenges you can set yourself if you want to really focus your energy on learning new things, improving and experimenting with your writing.

So how do you challenge yourself as a writer? Here are some of the things you can do

Set goals

Setting goals is an excellent way to make sure that you keep working at your writing and remain productive. Your writing goals can be anything from making sure you write a certain number of words by the end of the week or editing those first 5 chapters. Make your goals specific and obtainable, but not so easy that you don’t feel like you’ve had to put any effort in.

Set deadlines

Once you’ve set goals make sure you give yourself deadlines. You should have deadlines for finishing chapters, finishing your book, editing your manuscript and sending it off to publishers. Try to treat your writing as you would any other job, and take your self-imposed deadlines super seriously.

Give rewards

Reward yourself each and every time you achieve what you set out to achieve. This can be anything from having a tea break to booking yourself into a luxury spa. Make your reward proportional to what you have achieved - it’s probably not wise for your bank or your productivity to do the spa thing every time you’ve just finished a chapter!

Write in a different style

Challenge yourself by experimenting with a completely different style of writing. Try writing for different purposes, for example, poetry, short stories, articles, or blogs. However also try to write in a different genre too - you never know, you may discover a whole new side to writing self you never knew existed!

Read a different genre

Read books you wouldn’t normally read. If we pigeonhole ourselves too much we can never learn and grow. Reading books across a range of genres can be so helpful, and really enjoyable too.

Don’t edit yourself

If you are one of those writers who can’t help but go back and edit themselves after every few pages, maybe it’s time to stop. Being a productive writer often means accepting that your writing isn’t that good, but trying to keep perseve anyway to ensure you get through to the end of your story.

Do writing exercises

If you are feeling creatively stumped why not try some writing exercises? These can help you get back into the swing of things, free your mind, relieve some of the pressure and help you come up with new ideas too.

Share your writing

One of the biggest challenges we writers face is having the confidence to share our writing. However, it’s so important that we do. Join a writing group or post your writing on a forum and ask people for feedback. When you are ready don’t just sit on your manuscript, bite the bullet and send it to agents and publishers - if you don’t you’ll never know!

Next time you are feeling in a creative rut, or simply want to go in a different direction with your writing, why not try some of the above tips to see if they can inspire you, boost your writing confidence and make you a better writer overall?

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

Bethany Cadman -author of 'Doctor Vanilla's Sunflowers'

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