Writing is a weird thing to do. When you’re writing, you never feel like you’re getting the point across. Your words are clumsy and this grand idea you had in your head seems incommunicable. Though, you find weird moments where someone reads something you’ve written and it resonates with them. There isn’t a list of steps for how to grow as a writer. But there are some experiences you’ll definitely have.
Forgive me this brief descent into the non-concrete advice. (She said, as if she ever gave concrete advice in the first place.) I would gladly give you a post that listed all the things you already know about becoming a better writer. But you probably don’t need any reminders to read more books or to write often.
And honestly, sometimes you don’t have the mental capacity to do those things. So, this post will talk about the other stuff you can do.
There is No Formula for Creative Writing
What works for one writer won’t work for you. Or maybe it will. Or maybe it will only work for a little while. That’s why there’s no one path for how to grow as a writer.
The writer you are today is probably not the writer you were last month. Sure, you may be working on the same project, but there have been imperceptible shifts in you.
They start small. It’s little choices you make as you work. It’s the way you approach one character. Sometimes, there’s just a mindset shift around how you’re doing your work that shifts everything else.
I can’t really explain it. No one can.
But creative writing is a series of choices you make in your work and around how you work. Both matter. And when it comes to how to grow as a writer, the choices you make around how you work are the game changers.
There is no formula for creative writing simply because what one story requires of you, another will not. The energy you need to complete one project will change for another. What works today won’t work tomorrow.
And your mental state will always require different things on different days.
So don’t look for formulas. Instead, focus on the tools you need.