Are You A Good Writer? Ways To Evaluate Your Writing Skill
How Do We Know If We Are?
That’s a serious question by the way. How do we know if we are any good at this writing gig?
Well, if you are a member of HubPages, or a similar writing community, it may be very hard to tell about your writing quality. I say that with the utmost respect, but I say it because, for the most part, only positive comments are made on HubPages. If you are looking to evaluate your writing ability, HubPages is not the place for you. However, if you are looking for a feel good experience, by all means sign up with HP and share in the love. LOL
Back to the original question….are you a good writer?
Well, your Mom says you are so you must be, right? Your best friend says you are a great writer, so you must be, right?
No, not necessarily!
The fact is that our loved ones and friends may not be the best source for an unbiased opinion regarding our writing skills. So if that is true, and it is, then how do we find out if we “have game” in our chosen profession or hobby?
Perhaps the following suggestions can help answer that question.
Visit My Writing Blog
- Artistry With Words | A topnotch WordPress.com site
Writing tips and suggestions....great sites to visit....writing prompts.....and some friendship thrown in for free.
What’s that old adage? The doctor who treats himself has a fool for a patient? This certainly applies in writing as well. We are not the best judges when it comes to our writing ability. Either we have delusions of grandeur or we have such self-loathing that we think all of our work stinks.
Even though we may not be the picture of objectivity, there are several criteria that we can use to judge our writing. Take a look at the following list and grade yourself as objectively as possible.
- Sentence completeness
- Syntactic variety
- Sentence complexity
- Subject-verb agreement
- Word choice
- Single point of view
- Introduction and conclusion
- Coordination and subordination
- Logical structure and transitions
- Sequence of ideas
Did you pass the test? If not, what areas of your writing do you need to work on? Make no mistake about it….writing is work. We can be fueled with passion and yet lack voice. We can be great technicians and yet fall short of our objective.
Yes, writing is work, so get to work and improve those facets of writing that you are weak at.
A List of Writing Forums
- Writing Forums - writers' forums, creative writing workshops, challenges and reviews.
Writing Forums offers a mobile theme, which it will apply when accessed by a mobile device. Writing Forums is a friendly, active literary community where you can talk with other writers, get feedback on your work, discuss ideas, share tips & tric
Go online and find yourself a forum and then join it. Many offer free appraisals of your writing, and the appraisals are from fellow writers who have no hidden agenda. All they want to do is help you to become a better writer.
I think a warning is only fair. If you are thin-skinned then this may not be the path for you. Objective evaluations are cold-blooded in nature, so make sure you can handle the truth as the evaluator sees it.
Most forums will offer you a free platform upon which you can share your work, but remember that your work is then part of a public forum and as such instantly has a target attached to it. There are good opinions and there are bad opinions, and you will get both on forums. If you are open-minded and willing to learn, then you will find nuggets of wisdom in these forum evaluations that just might help you.
Community Colleges by State
Go to any community college and you will find writing courses. There you can train under the watchful eye of teachers who are only there to help you. It is a relatively painless way of getting the help and suggestions that you need. Writing instructors can help you with grammar, sentence structure, voice and focus. They will offer suggestions and give a friendly critique of your work.
You will also be in class with other writers who want exactly the same thing, namely to improve in their craft.
A Great Resource Site For Workshops
- Writers Conferences & Writing Workshops on ShawGuides
Guide to Writers Conferences & Writing Workshops offers writing conferences, writers workshops, creative career writing programs and literary retreats
Workshops and Institutes
Costly for sure but very rewarding, workshops have been known to fuel the fire that is within many writers, and often times an unpolished stone emerges from a workshop as a sparkling gem.
Go online and you can find an endless array of writing workshops. I have included a few for you to consider to the right of this page. There are literally thousands of workshops available around the world, and they are offered year round.
If you want an objective evaluation of your writing skills, you might consider paying for it. There are many writers, like myself, who have websites and offer to look at your writing samples and tell you not only what you are doing wrong but also give advice on how to correct those wrongs.
If you would like me to take a look at your work, I have included my website to the right, or you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are many such offers online for those interested.
Are you a good writer?
A Potpourri of Final Points
There is no substitute for writing and practicing your craft. Writing is an Art and as such must be worked at with diligence. One does not become proficient at an art without practice.
Still, if one does not understand the rules of good grammar, all the practice in the world will not change that fact. Reading the masters who have come before you will help. A certain amount of “learning by osmosis” occurs simply by reading good writers. Study their sentence structure. Study their word choice. Study the way they build upon a story and use all the tricks of the trade to allow their story to flow. There is something very humbling about reading the greats, and there is also something very inspiring about it as well. If they could do it through hard work then maybe you can too.
So, are you a good writer? Don’t you think you owe it to yourself to find out?
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)