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As a writer, you’re constantly honing your craft—reading widely, seeking feedback, and considering the constructive criticism of others. Part of this process is learning how to recognize your own writing strengths. But it’s not always easy to judge yourself objectively, so Writer’s Relief has put together five ways to recognize the areas in which you truly shine:
Five ways to identify your strengths as a writer—and then make the most of them!
- Find your passion. You can’t write with wild abandon about auto parts if you aren’t wild about auto parts! Do you find that magic “flow” when penning poetry? Or are you bubbling over with enthusiasm about historical fiction? Pinpoint what inspires you and build on that momentum.
- Explore new territory. Sure, you’ve had good success with publishing short stories in literary magazines, but have you tried your hand at longer works? If you primarily write horror, take a shot at something outside your comfort zone, like a mystery. Or write poems to fit the horror genre. You may discover new strengths as a writer.
- Read, read, read. Not only does a healthy reading habit help you develop your craft, but you may find that, by comparing your writing with that of authors you admire, you can spot your own strong points.
- Ask for feedback. Invite critique from a wide variety of legitimate readers, whether you pass out copies of your book manuscript to members of your writing group or you solicit reviews for your self-published book from credible bloggers and book reviewers. (And if you’re befuddled by the feedback you receive, this may help: The Author’s Unofficial Guide to Critique Translation.)
- Think about your greatest non-writing successes. When you identify what personal characteristics and accomplishments you are most proud of, you may find a correlation to your craft. Did you care for a loved one through a long illness? You may realize that your writing has taken on new emotional depth and sensitivity. Or you’ve recently realized a longtime dream and graduated from clown school—and you’re tapping into new sources of humor in your work!
Questions To Help Pinpoint Your Writer Strengths:
Are you detail-oriented? Fantasy and science fiction may be your strongest genre, with intricate world-building and complex plots to keep straight. Or perhaps you’re more interested in the big picture, and you express yourself best in sweeping poems.
Do you submit your work regularly? A strong writer has a strong submission strategy, always has work in circulation…and knows where to turn for help!
If you’d like help finding the best markets for your short stories, essays, poems, or book, submit your best writing to our Review Board today to be considered for client representation. Writer’s Relief can increase your odds of getting an acceptance!
Are you an excellent editor? This is a coveted skill among writers and definitely a strength. Or are you unable to let go of your work? Some writers don editing hats and can’t seem to take them off until they’ve reworked a piece to death. Consider it a strength to know when to stop revising and send your work out into the world.
Do you finish what you start? Some writers are brimming with great ideas but never get around to completing any of them. If you are able to create a piece from start to finish, pat yourself on the back!
What genre do you most enjoy reading? You’ll likely write more passionately and easily in the genre you choose to read for pleasure.
Are you dogged and determined? Writers with perseverance are able to reach their writing goals and take on the publishing industry without letting rejection derail them.
Are you a marketing wiz? Self-published authors especially know how hard this part is. For all you promotional gurus/authors out there, congratulations. You’ve got a definite edge with this strength. (Read more about how to identify your promotional strengths.)
Are you overly hard on yourself? Focusing on weaknesses makes it difficult to recognize one’s own writing gifts. Be aware of self-sabotaging behaviors that prevent you from finding your strengths.
Question: What do you consider your greatest strength as a writer?