To answer that you need to ask yourself why am I writing? We all have our own different
reasons. I find that the sort of answers I get are:-
1/ I am only writing for my own satisfaction. I’m not interested in publication.
2/ I am writing as a record for my family. I don’t think anyone else would be interested.
3/ I want to develop and improve my writing style, with a view to publication.
Let’s explore these three answers.
What satisfaction can you get from your writing if you’re not prepared to share it. You wouldn’t want to join the group if you didn’t want to share it. And if you’re prepared to share it, why restrict the potential audience. In general this first answer is about not having confidence in your writing. There are people in every writers’ group who feel this way.
This leads into the second answer that you are only writing as a record for your family and don’t think anyone else would be interested. Why on earth would they not be interested. It is a great blessing that however similar our lives may seem to be to other people’s, everybody’s life and experience is different. Reading other people’s lives can be rewarding in so many ways. They can help us understand our own lives, sometimes find answers and sometimes an acceptance of our own lot by reading how others have coped with similar problems. They can cause resonances in other people’s lives that trigger happy memories. Never believe that your life will be uninteresting to others. Your life is boring. If it was boring would you be wanting to write it down.
So if we are going to write for others, even if it is only for the family it is very important to know that what we have written will be easily understood by everyone who reads it, which is why getting feedback from a group is important. Writing so strangers will understand it ensures that family and those closest to you will be getting the best that you can produce. If it is worth writing about it is worth writing about well.
The most positive answer is the last answer as it is about aspiration and achievement. So mastering the writers’ skills is vital.
So how can I improve my writing style? The first answer is keep writing and don’t stop. Share it with others to obtain their feedback. Generally steer clear of advice from friends who will only tell you what you want to hear and not necessarily what you need to hear. Avoid writing groups that develop into a mutual admiration society. You will not get much benefit from such a group. If everybody in the group recognises a problem they are probably right and it is something that as a writer you need to look at but it is also a sad fact that just because everybody agrees on a particular criticism, it doesn’t necessarily make that criticism correct. Keep an open mind, listen, and have the courage reach your own conclusions.
I will leave you with a horrendous cliché. Shoot for the moon and if you miss you’ll always end up amongst the stars.