How many courses does it take to become a better writer?

Jul 25, 2016 | Better Writing

George really wanted to be a speaker. After some success at Toastmasters, he joined the National Speakers Association. He went to every local meeting and every national convention for a couple of years. He went to every convention session and educational program. He took lots of notes.

Speaking didn’t work out for George. That’s because all he did was go to meetings and take notes. He never got around to doing much speaking. He had a ton of ideas about how to succeed that he just never got around to using.

I thought about George when I read Frances Caballo’s excellent post, “9 Lessons for Moving Forward – Control Your Inbox.” Writing, like speaking, is a craft that you can master. Here’s what George should have done.

George should have gotten off his behind and given some speeches. In the beginning it would be hard work that produced dreadful results. You have to go through bad to get to good.

That’s true for writers, too. No writer springs from the womb writing great stuff. You’ve got to write and, in the beginning, you won’t be very good. So you work at the craft and you get better.

You can read books about writing. You can take courses and webinars. But I can guarantee you this, no book or course or webinar can change your writing. Only you can do that.

So, here’s your homework assignment. Don’t spend your money or time on another new educational experience. Instead, go back through your notes from programs you’ve attended and books you’ve read. Pick out one idea to try. Then do it.

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