• Mauro Herrera

A Writing Course Won't Make You A Better Writter But You Should Take One

Many amateur writers wonder how they can improve their writing. At first, we try to imitate our favorite novelists, we adopt their habits and routines, then we try to read as much as we can on the subject.

It's easy to believe that the only way to gain new skills is by taking writing workshops and courses. Only a good writer can teach me to be one, right?

Although I'm not an expert writer at all, I have been in the rodeo for several years now. I also used to believe that I had to take classes and all the courses I could to be a better writer.

After 3 courses, 1 workshop, and 1 talk about writing essays, scripts, SEO content, monologues, advertorials, and books, it can summarize everything I learned in 10 points.

However, in none of them is "being a better writer."

Writing is an exercise, it is like doing push-ups, there are no secret formulas, the only way to improve is by writing.

But I'm not discouraging you from taking courses at all, you should definitely enroll in one if you get the chance. There are many things that you will learn in them, perhaps the ones you least expected.

1. You'll meet other writers

A very common saying says that the path of the writer is a lonely one. Honestly, it doesn't have to be.

Writing for me took on a whole new meaning as I began to meet other people, writers, and readers. Not everything should be a competition, there is enough room for everyone. Don't miss the opportunity to share your experience with others and be open to listening to theirs.

Knowing new perspectives and styles will open your mind to new fields that you don't know.

2. You'll find your style

I was obsessed with writing screenplays since I thought that that's the epitome of the writer's career. Write scripts for movies, television, or web shows.

While taking screenwriting classes, I realized that this is not what I want to do at all. Ironic, I know.

Studying different styles and genres will help you figure out which path you really want to take.

3. You will know what you are good at and what you are not good at

Usually, in these workshops, participants are encouraged to share their work. This is an opportunity for an expert to give you feedback on your writing.

You can experience new things or sharpen your skills in your favorite genre, others will share their thoughts. Don't be discouraged if the comments are not as positive as you expected, as long as they're constructive.

4. You'll strengthen your weak points

When you know where you're lacking practice, you can focus on working on it. Once a great writer that I greatly admire read a piece of mine and said that he quite liked it. However, he noticed that it was a bit difficult for me to keep a smooth rhythm during the story.

I had never stopped to think about my rhythm when writing, from that day on I began to watch out for that aspect.

5. You will mature as a writer

One of the hardest things when starting to write is receiving criticism. No matter how good you think you are, you will always suck at first. You must read a lot of not-so-positive comments about your work to learn from them and not take it personally.

Trust me, you'd rather get those comments from other writers and not random strangers in your comment box.

6. You'll start networking

Making new friends is fun, but you never know when you'll meet your new business partner. These courses typically involve editors, publishers, and headhunters. Someone could be watching you.

Or on the other hand, if you want to start your venture, it helps a lot to have a handful of good writers on your contact list.

7. You'll commit to practice

Every good writing course will require you to write. It's not enough to sit in front of the laptop during a Zoom meeting for two weeks. you will have homework, exercises, and assessments that you must complete. This is a practice that you need and usually avoid.

8. You'll learn new techniques and methods

As I mentioned previously, there are no top secrets or magic tricks when it comes to writing. Most of the time it's about discipline and practice.

Despite that, there are always tips or life hacks that will make some tasks easier. Know how to manage your time, establish writing quotas, have notes with information about characters, events, and scenarios. These tips will be very helpful to you.

9. You'll create the habit

If you didn't have it already, taking multiple courses will help you build a writing habit. As I told you, writing is like exercising, you must do it periodically to improve.

Writing once or twice a week will not mean any improvement in your work.

10. You will take this more seriously

If you want to write just to make a few extra bucks a month, that's perfectly fine. But if what you really want is to be a talented writer and show your work, it's now or never.

If you really want to take this seriously, you will know how to take advantage of the previous points and put them into practice to constantly evolve. Never settle for what you already know, be humble to always learn and smart to make the right decisions.

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