An artist keeps growing all their working life. A writer, especially, feels constrained to expand their horizons, seek out new methods of expressing oneself, and to make sure they learn something new with every year that passes. With 2016 just having made an appearance, let’s see what writers can do to ensure growth and take their writing to the next level this year.
Growth is not just about commercial and marketing success, though achieving that is the ultimate goal of every writer. Writing must also pay well. However, the growth we are talking about is your growth as a writer. It is about expanding your own knowledge, experience and ability, so that it reflects in your work, and shall eventually reflect in your success.
1. Write in a new genre
Many authors prefer to stick to a tried and tested genre because it’s safer. Each genre has its own specific rules, which the authors have learnt and stick to. If you want to try out something new, you really have to break your own boundaries of thinking and working. This is why you must try out a new genre. It can be risky, but it can also bring great rewards. For example, author Lily King’s biggest and most popular work happened when she tried a new genre because she found the story compelling. Ashok Banker and Devdutt Pattanaik have created an entirely new genre simply by writing something new that hasn’t been done before. So this year, choose a different genre of fiction than the one you normally write.
2. Take risks
Achieving success in any field in life means you have to take reasonable risks. This is true for authors as well. If you are getting any opportunity, go for it! If a story is calling out to you and you think that it might not be very marketable, take the risk. If you suddenly realize you are really interested in something and want to write a non-fiction book, there is no reason to hold back. You can only grow when you take risks. So this year, grab any opportunity you get even if you think it’s going to be tough. Believe in yourself first.
3. Learn from experts
This is something that can and must be done at every stage of your career. When you understand that you can learn something from almost everyone, your growth is assured. This year, try to seek out opportunities where you can learn new things. Attend workshops where you will be taught different aspects of writing. Go to literary meetings, where you can hear the experiences of other authors. Talk to readers, authors and publishers and try to see things from their perspective. Read more so that the message in other authors’ books gets across to you. Learning is constant and never-ending. So make that an active goal for 2016.
4. Experiment with different styles
Every author develops their own unique style of writing. It is the first step in becoming an established writer, confident of their own work. But one can get bogged down in one’s style if there is never any variation. It is tricky to try a different way of writing because it can easily fail to make an impact. But this is how you will grow as an author and understand what works for you and what doesn’t.
Try networking more this year. It has immense benefits as you can get to understand the market well and plan your work around it. Talk to your readers and find out what they are expecting from you. It’s true that you will be unable to satisfy everyone, but you can try to fulfill the expectations of the maximum number of readers possible. This can only be possible if you know what they want. It is also important to network with other authors. They are the only ones who have travelled the path before you and hence, the only ones who can help you move forward. Consider other authors as colleagues, not as competitors. There is plenty of space in the literary world for everyone. In short, talk to people! You’ll be surprised at the things you learn.
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[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/IMG_20141217_101736441.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Kavitha is a freelance content writer and French translator, and has been working in this field since 2008. She has degrees in computer applications and international business and has a background in business and international trade. She enjoys learning languages and is currently learning Japanese. Her interests vary from books and writing to travelling and history.[/author_info] [/author]