How To Hone Your Writing Talent

By on March 10, 2020

Having raw writing talent is one thing, but how do you hone that talent? How do you refine it and shape it so that you continuously produce quality work?

For many writers, they started because someone recognized that they had raw writing talent. They wrote a short story or a few blog posts, perhaps, shared them with friends and family and received positive feedback. They found that tingle of excitement when they had a new idea and began to scribble it down. 

But when you come to write something longer perhaps, or when you submit your ideas to literary agents or to professional writing forums, all that bubbling enthusiasm comes quickly grinding to a halt. You may be told your thoughts are interesting but that your work needs, well, more work, and this can be a bit of a wakeup call to those who thought that raw talent alone could see them through.

It’s important for all writers to understand that no matter how talented they are if they aren’t prepared to put the work in, they will find it very hard to succeed. Just as an athlete or musician needs to practice to stay on top of their game, writers need to learn how to hone their talent and the ability to take criticism and learn from their mistakes. 

So what are some practical ways that writers can start to refine their talent?

Read 

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, writers who are serious about writing will read. It would help if you always had a book on the go, and a stack of books on your ‘to read’ pile, so you are never without another book to pick up. The more you read, the more you will understand what makes great stories great. It is, without a doubt, the best thing you can do for your writing career.

Write

The next best thing you can do is write. The more you write, the more you are practicing, and the better you will get. It’s simple but accurate. Even if you aren’t practicing a specific technique or experimenting with a new form of writing, you’ll still naturally learn and improve as you go. So stop talking about your dream of being a writer and actually go out and be one. 

Take feedback

Honest feedback can feel pretty brutal, but the sooner you learn how to take it and what to do with it, the better. Your ego will be bruised, and you’ll feel like someone is jamming salt into your wounds, but just go with it, get over it and listen to what other people have to say. If someone is tearing your work apart, don’t get offended, don’t cry, don’t swear you’ll never write another word again, just get your nose back to the grindstone and keep trying. The likelihood is that even if an editor or agent accepts your writing, be that an article, short story, or novel, you’ll be heavily edited and expected to draft and redraft and take their advice until it’s perfect. If you can grow a thick skin and learn to view this feedback as an opportunity to learn and grow and accept that you’ve always got more to learn, you’ll do well. 

By keeping the above in mind, you can take your raw writing talent and use it to create consistently brilliant work. There’s nothing that can stop you now!

bethany cadman
Bethany Cadman - bethanycadman.co.uk

About Ty Cohen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Captcha loading...