Sometimes another writer will ask me for suggestions about how to improve or how to get published. After spouting a few canned remarks about working hard and being lucky, I’ll outline a more concrete five-pronged strategy.
Take classes or workshops. Having never taken a creative writing course in my life (the only English class I took in college was Technical Writing), I figured I needed to learn some fundamentals. I started with an Adult Ed class at a local high school, then moved to workshops at The Writer’s Center. Check out your local community colleges for suitable classes, or ask other writers in your area where the workshops are.
Get yourself into a critique group. I believe getting feedback on your work is a terrific way to improve. And critiquing other writers’ works also is very educational. Hook up with other writers at classes and workshops (see above) or connect on-line. Recommendation: Try to find others writing in your genre, at a similar general writing “stage.”
Join a professional organization. A great place to network and hook up with other writers. Learn about both the business and the craft. The conferences are fun, too. (I belong to MWA and ITW.)
Read, read, read. And then read some more.
Write, write, write. And don’t give up!