How Professional Feedback Can Make You A Better Writer

Writing courses are great, but one-on-one feedback can propel your writing forward fasterClose up image of one person pointing at a laptop screen while another person touches the mouse padPhoto by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

An excellent writing course is packed full of resources that will help develop your craft. And just like a battered copy of Stephen Kings On Writing, a great writing course takes you through the writing process from start to finish.

Step by step, you learn how to formulate, research, write, edit and pitch finished pieces that are so polished they’d make Grammar Girl proud.

But the most surprising tip that propels your pen forward with one ‘aha moment’ after another will likely be one you receive from a tutor. Because even if your mum likes your tweets and your partner laughs at all your witty one-liners, only a skilled professional can tell you those pearlers are irrelevant to the story and take up precious word space.

Improve your writing faster

Tips, hacks, and tricks are helpful, but the real value lies in receiving feedback that glimpses in your story where those writing tips belong.

Then, when you next sit down to write, the awareness from those gentle reminders will help improve writing faster.

Even published authors such as Whitebread first novel winner Hanif Kureishi, famous for declaring creative courses a waste of time, said he would “find one teacher who I thought would be really good for me.”

Tighten your writing skills

Because you can’t google Top Five Tips for [YOUR NAME HERE] to Get Better at Writing, tightening your writing skills happens when you show your work.

The best writing advice can be as simple as being guided on where to cut your extra words or being told your incorrect use of apostrophes weakens your strong metaphors.

And sometimes, a professional’s experience navigating past learning curves allows them to pinpoint the exact reason you know something isn’t working, but you can’t quite figure out why.

Connect with your reader

A well-directed comment about an ending that needs a little more can send your mind to venture further than it did before.

Encouraged by your tutor, you find yourself willing to dig a little deeper and share more of yourself on the page.

Which helps create a connection with your readers you may not have reached without that first teacher-student relationship.

If you want to be a better writer, hand over your pages of prose to a professional writer and watch your writing grow to a level you didn’t know you were capable of, and one you couldn’t have got to without help.

The act of writing a piece from beginning to end may be a solitary pursuit, but improving it doesn’t have to be. Receiving professional feedback will carry you further than the last page of any well-read book on writing.

Where to find professional feedback for your writingIf you know any professional writers and editors, approach them to see if they would be willing to look over your work.Be sure to acknowledge their use of time and offer to give something in return. Perhaps you teach yoga or make a mean raw salad. ‘Trade swaps’ like these complement any professional’s skipped lunches and hunched-over keyboard time.Take a weekend or online course that offers one-on-one tutoring with professional and award-winning writers.Research fellow writers groups in your area or on social media. Connecting to supportive and professional wordsmiths of all levels, either in real life or online, will not only help you start sharing your work, but it’ll also cast the feedback process in a positive light too!

How Professional Feedback Can Make You A Better Writer was originally published in The Writing Cooperative on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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  • January 4, 2022
  • NEWS