To be a writer, all you need to do is write. To be a good writer, all you need to do is learn about cohesive storytelling. And to be a great writer, all you need to do is write as you learn. From blogs to Ebooks, there are plenty of different ways for a writer to have their writing noticed. One thing I always top a list like this with is writing competitions. The amount you can learn from entering in a mere one or two is mind-changing. No doubt you’ll debate this in favour of paying for courses, but here me out first.
Whether or not your entry is a successful one, some competition holders are willing to give you some feedback on the elements of your work. It’s not necessarily about telling you what you’ve done wrong, more so about telling you how you can improve on what you’ve done so you can implement it in other stories and build on your craft. No one’s shoving your head in the sand with this feedback. As well as taking heed to any given advice, you should also listen to what isn’t said. Taking heed to a directly-approached assessment is helpful but by taking on board what isn’t mentioned as well, you won’t be scrapping an entire piece of work. Both sides of the coin are beneficial.
Adapt To Various Styles
There are plenty of contrasting writing styles any writer can use competitions to explore. You have full books, short stories, scripts, flash-writing and even poetry to work with. Inserting yourself into each of these categories can teach you how to think on your feet, be an enthralling storyteller regardless of the length of your piece and how to write each time with perpetual meaning. If you can write a short story and adapt it into something like a flash story or a poem, your skills will be on an entirely dissimilar wavelength and that’s where the best growth continues. Writers should never limit themselves, the constant modification of their projects is far too masterful for that.
Rewards aren’t the most important things when a writer is happy with what they’ve written but one does have to admit, they’re quite encouraging and who doesn’t like being rewarded? There’s always something to work towards in the world. No one writes for the reward of gaining a single person’s approval (no one should anyway) as if only a particular judge can allow someone’s writing to be good (It’s either good or it isn’t, there’s no permission needed). What should be strived for is either that cash prize that makes you feel great for essentially being paid for writing or that specific award that’s given out annually. Either way, rewards help lead to recognition and that recognition can very well lead to opportunities to showcase yourself even better than before.
This is a win-win process. Taking advantage of writing competitions leads to expressed and unexpressed feedback, guiding into the adaption of various projects & present the best demonstration of skill and ascending into the rewards where the grandest opportunities lie. Everything is easier said than done, but taking advantage of writing competitions is a solid first step.