Self-Exploration for Writers: My Writing Skills

Self-Exploration for Writers: My Writing Skills
By Norma J Hill (aka Pen And Paper Mama) ©2020

Welcome to a self-exploration series of exercises for writers: useful whether you are just thinking about writing, are a beginning writer, or are already an experienced writer. Explore what, for you personally, defines a writer, what kind of writer you are, what your writing goals are—and in the process, you will discover yourself as a writer. At the end of each post in the series, there is a link to a downloadable and printable PDF copy on which you can write your responses. Put them in a binder or duotang-type folder. Then, periodically along your writing journey, return to your answers, read what you noted previously, and add new thoughts and experiences. Through this self-exploration process, you’ll end up with a wonderful personal record of your writer’s journey.

1. Muses and Mentors
2. Reading that Inspires Me
3. Listening and Viewing
4. My Life Experiences Related to Writing
5. Inspiration and Dreams
6. Writing Formats and Focuses
7. My Writing Skills
8. My Readers/Audience
9. Preparing to Write

7. My Writing Skills

Write down your responses to these questions in detail:

What writing and editing skills do I have presently?                    
What writing have I done in the past? (Include even small items, such as letter/email writing, business writing, blogging, how-to articles, school assignments, etc.)                    
What specialized skills do I need to develop for the format(s) (fiction, nonfiction, academic, poetry, drama, etc.) in which I want to write?                  
What specific skills do I need to develop for the genre (romance, adventure, memoir, creative nonfiction, specific type of poetry, etc.) in which I want to write?                    
How can I develop my skills: courses, writing group participation, conferences, read books on writing, what else?                    
What small-size writing projects can I do that will help me develop and practice my writing skills before I take on larger-scale writing projects?                    

Putting your exploration into practice: Write, in a sentence or two, a specific writing goal you have for yourself. Then, using your notes above, create a personalized and detailed plan for how you will develop the writing skills you need to fulfill that goal.

PDF LINK for this “My Writing Skills” exercise: Download, print, fill in your responses, and place them in your own “Self-Exploration for Writers” binder.

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