Whether you’re new to the writing life–or a seasoned pro–there are always opportunities to grow your writing skills to stay fresh or find your voice as a writer. If you’re looking to grow as a writer this summer, I’ve got five simply ways to do just that.

Read. Read often.

Reading may be one of the most effective ways you can grow your own writing style because it allows you to explore a variety of styles from other writers, stories, and more. It is also a great way to expand your vernacular to assist with creating a unique voice as a writer, as well as for your many characters. Reading can give you countless new ideas and inspiration to draw from in your own writing and provide an outlet when your own writing isn’t going how you’d like it to. It can’t be overstated how important it is to read all you can if you want to be the best writer you can be.


Expand your vocabulary.

Reading is a great way to expand your vocabulary, adding a dictionary or thesaurus into the mix is even better. And, yes, people still use them! They’re wonderful resources to find new ways to describe life as you see or feel it. Cracking open one of these books can help you take an average vocabulary and cultivate it to one that will make you feel like you’re never at a loss for words!


Find your rhythm.

Some people find it difficult to write as often as they’d like to. They see other writers boasting about writing every single day, or writing X number of words a week, and get discouraged. This is an unnecessary form of stress that will suck the fun out of writing faster than you can cut + paste. Don’t let what works for others set the standard for what works for you. Take some time to explore yourself and how you write best. Find your rhythm and your writing will benefit.


Step out of your comfort zone.

Sometimes, stepping out of our comfort zones is what it takes to help us grow. If you feel like your writing is stagnating, try turning your typical story on its head or try something else. Just because you have a passion for historical fiction, doesn’t mean spending a bit of time writing a short sci-fi story is a waste of time. You may be surprised to find yourself looking at things from a different perspective, or seeing your typical writing prompts as getting easier after stepping out of your comfort zone. Never be afraid to explore new ideas or perspectives, and even to see the world from the eyes of someone you never thought you could relate to.


Collaborate..and listen!

Start a book club. Attend local writing classes. Join an online writing group. Meet up with a fellow writer to share notes. Writing is one of the most personal things one can do in life, but sometimes sharing our thoughts, ideas and creativity with others can help us blossom into something we never thought possible. Listen to critiques–even when you disagree with them. It can be a hard thing to do but you’ll be amazed what can come from pain.

Have any tips of your own to grow as a writer? Share them in the comments below!

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