Welcome to your second instalment of 22 Ways to Improve your Writing in 2022! This week, Lauren continues to bring you some advice to change up your writing this year.
9. Subscribe to, or join, a writing centre. These centres offer great resources such as courses, opportunities for mentorships and advertise competitions and you can subscribe to their newsletters that are sent weekly or monthly, depending on the centre. They also have manuscript assessment services, editorial services and connections to agents, essential if you are seeking publication of longer form works. New South Wales have a writing centre located in Rozelle (Writing NSW), Victoria’s is located in the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne (Writers Victoria) and there is also an Australian Writers Centre located in Milsons Point. All have online resources available.
10. Take a short course. Many of us are time poor, especially those of us trying to juggle a full time job (or two? or a family?) and write. Therefore, for most of us, completing extended qualifications like degrees or even diplomas in areas of writing practice is not practical. But there are some great short courses that run on specific aspects of writing practice, such as writing in certain genres, for certain audiences, in certain text types. The Masterclass platform online is a subscription service that offers lots of choice here. In addition, all of the writing centres (see above) offer courses that range from one day to month-long courses.
11. Consider who your audience is. Research what aspects of their reading experience they like and want more of. If you know people who read in this genre, ask them many, many questions!
12. Make a calendar of submission dates. Find out about all the publications and publishing houses that accept submissions in the genre and form that you write and put them on the calendar. Many publishing houses have ‘reading periods’, such as one week per month, when they accept submissions. Most publishers don’t accept unsolicited manuscripts out of this period, so it’s important that you know when that window is. If you are submitting to journals or anthologies, make sure you have read previous editions of the publications and understand the theme for the edition you are submitting to be part of.
13. Consider your goals as a writer. Do you need to be published in the traditional way, or is it more about completing a manuscript and seeing it in print? If so, consider other routes to the highly competitive and highly commercialised traditional publishing: digital publication, self publication, serialising using something such as a blog.
14. Invest in an application for writing. Depending on what your chosen device is for writing, consider investing in a writing application. I use Scrivener, which makes it easier to keep track of scenes and character notes when I am attempting to write longer form fiction. If you need web based tools to write on across a number of devices, there are also multiple out there. Many of them are reviewed widely across different sites for writers online, but some to check out include: Ulysses, Reedsy, Scrivener, iA Writer, Storyist, Hemmingway, Airstory.
15. Make lists of what qualities you admire about your favourite pieces of writing and try to emulate them. Rather than writing in one style, try to blend the range of techniques from different authors into your work depending on what suits each piece. You can research these qualities if you don’t have time for in depth analysis of classic pieces, there are plenty of technical guides to writing like your favourite author! Remember: these authors got these techniques from authors they admired, too!
Follow the blog for next week's installment of advice for your writing career in 2022!