Becoming a Better Writer in 2015

Writing Tools

This year I’ve made leaps and bounds when it comes to writing, but I still have many miles to go before I arrive at what I’ll call my optimum writer status. Truth be told, I have no interest in being the perfect scribe (whatever that may be), but I definitely have some room for improvement.

Here’s how I plan to be a better writer in 2015:

SUPPORT OTHER WRITERS MORE

I get so caught up in the stresses of creating that a lot of times when I’m done filing articles, I haphazardly tweet the links and log the hell off my computer. In those moments, I don’t want to read another headline, blog post, or article because I’ve been fully immersed in them for hours at a time and my eyes and brain just can’t take anymore. But beginning now and throughout 2015, I plan to devote more time to reading, sharing and commenting on other writers’ work, especially those who are just starting out, or those whose work I truly admire.

ENGAGE MORE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Someone one posed the question, “What does your social media presence say about you?” I’ll be the first to admit that mine isn’t very reflective of who I am.  In reality, I thrive in social settings and am at my best when I have some food, drink and good company. However, I’m old school and social media is just so…OPEN. I can’t properly convey what I’m feeling, but I haven’t gotten comfortable with putting my fleeting, uncensored thoughts and beliefs out there for the masses to consume and share. Whenever I do, it’s followed by so much self-scrutiny and anxiety that sometimes I’m tempted to delete my account altogether. Anyway, it sounds insane but it’s the truth.  But the fact is,  I need to be more engaging online. While it’s still awkward for me, it feels much better to actually interact with people instead of simply seeing their tweets float by on your timeline daily without having a clue what they’re about outside of some random tweets or blog links.  I joined to put myself out there (plus, there are work requirements), but I realize I’m doing myself and other writers who look for support a major disservice by being a hermit online.

BLOG MORE

Because practice makes perfect. This is something I’ve consistently tried and failed at and even used excuses to get out of doing, but the good thing is I haven’t given up.

PITCH MORE

This is the most annoying process, but as a freelancer, it’s necessary to get work. This year, I was just starting out and I actually landed two steady gigs, which left me little to no time to pitch other outlets. At one point, I came pretty close to earning a real salary (which is difficult to do as a beginning freelancer), that is, until one of the gigs fell through after a short time.

Currently, I have a couple of pitches just waiting to be sent out to a certain publication, but I’m nervous about it. Giving myself to the end of the week to press send…

WRITE THAT DAMN BOOK, ALREADY

If I was persistent, I could’ve written 20 books by now. But if Grandma had balls, she’d be Grandpa, so there’s no need for me to go down that route. I plan to get serious about writing, completing and self-publishing a book in 2015 and there’s nothing standing in my way but me.

BRANCH OUT…

As in doing other writing related jobs, like more copy editing,  writing bios, press releases, English tutoring, ANYTHING remotely related to the written word.

READ MORE

When it comes to reading , the possibilities are endless and I’ve been slacking on it. But this is nothing that  regular trips to the library can’t remedy.

Fellow writers/bloggers, how do you plan to become better at your craft in 2015?

photo credit: peteoshea via photopin cc

9 thoughts on “Becoming a Better Writer in 2015”

  1. I am planning a list of blog conferences that I want to attend. I think I need to take at least one writing class and one speech class next year. Only because I have been saying that I would for a few years now. Read more is on the top of my list, as well. In other words I want to do things that enhance me as a person, so the writer in me can be inspired to write something awesome.

  2. Those are great ideas, especially the writing and speech classes. I haven’t taken any in years and I could definitely use a few. And you’re right about doing things that enhance you as a person. It’s definitely a great way to gain more writing material. Thank you for reading & commenting!

  3. A lot of the writers and bloggers whose work I read and admire seem out of reach. Many come off extremely snobbish online and although I’ve never tried emailing them to tell them I admire their work, I am so off-put by their online personas (real selves?) that I don’t even want to bother. Since that is the case, I’ve just been supporting the writers and bloggers who are new to the game and those who are genuine in their support of me. In 2015, I want to read more books (talked about this struggle on my blog) and try to pitch myself to a few publications (using the tips you gave me!). I’m no longer looking at freelance writing as a full-time possibility, but I do want to try…at least once or twice. Good post, Kenya! I look forward to hearing more about your book-writing process and reading more of your thoughts via Twitter.

    Drea – http://thedreadaily.com

  4. You know what, I completely agree. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m already not too keen on social media and the whole cliquish, snobby thing just really rubs me the wrong way IRL and online. To me, humility is of the UTMOST importance no matter who you are or what you’ve done. So yeah, I totally feel ya. Whew, and the pitching struggle is real, but just know that you can hit me up as needed if you ever need advice or have questions. Thx for reading, sharing and supporting!

  5. How bold and courageous of you to share your plans with others. Now you have multiple people to help hold you accountable. I really need to get back to blogging. As you said, “practice makes perfect.” I absolutely need to get on the ball with pitching more. More than anything, I need to take a writing course of some sort.

  6. Hey partner! Yes, I know that I need to be held accountable or else I make excuses instead of progress! I also want to take a copy editing class before I pursue other clients. Writing more has taught me that I still have a lot to learn about that. And let’s get back to our pitch purges! I think they were really effective for us. Thanks for commenting!

  7. I want to pitch publications in 2015. That’s something I haven’t done. I put myself out there, and I’m trying to comment more. But I want to add some publications to my portfolio (not to mention, pull a portfolio together). Finally, I want to branch out in regards to what I write and how I write it. I may even look for some creative writing classes.

  8. Hi Briana!

    Pitching is a nerve-racking process and after almost a year of freelancing, I’m still never really comfortable whenever I do it. But it has allowed me to do exactly what you mentioned about branching out and trying different types of writing. The fact that you have an established blog will also work in your favor as a lot of publications allow blog posts to be submitted as clips. Good luck and thanks for reading & commenting!

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