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5 Ways to Improve Your Craft Inexpensively

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 6:42
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One common trait among many of us is that we don’t have a lot of extra money to spend on our writing craft. Sure, one or two conferences or classes a year are in the budget–maybe–but many writers I speak to are working day jobs and writing on the side OR busy with freelance jobs that pay the bills while they work on their creative projects in the wee hours of the morning.

Luckily, in today’s global and cyber-connected writing community, there are several inexpensive and often FREE ways to improve our writing craft:

1. Read Blogs & Free E-zines: There’s a world of free information at your fingertips if you have a computer and Internet connection (which you can get for free at coffee shops and libraries). Of course, WOW! is a great resource, but we’re not the only online writing resource out there. Authors, agents, writing groups, and more write about their experiences and knowledge for writers everywhere to read. If you have never checked out Writer’s Digest 101 Best Websites for Writers, which we are thankful to have been included on many times, then go to the link when you finish my blog post. (Not before–or you will never come back and read my wise words. Wink Wink. )

2. Free Webinars: These exist everywhere, too. Usually, professionals who want to give you a taste of their services provide one-hour informational webinars, so you can learn from them and decide if you want to pay them to help you with your writing. But these free webinars are full of information that can help you improve your craft. All you have to do is Google “free writing webinars,” and you will see the vast amount of resources available. Also, if you write memoirs, WOW!’s partner, National Association of Memoir Writers ,often offer free webinars.

3. Critique Groups: My critique groups have been so valuable to me and of course, completely free. I am lucky, I know, to have moved as often as I have and find amazing critique groups each time. But if you are not in a critique group, somehow find one. I have found mine through local writing groups or national organizations’, such as SCBWI, regional chapters. You can also start your own. If you live in a community with a library or coffee shop, post a sign. There are also several online opportunities to connect with like-minded writers who will critique your work in return for critiquing theirs.

4. Write Every Day: I won’t go on and on about this. It is common sense. If you want to improve something, you practice it. If you do steps 1 to 3 above, then you put into practice what you learned when you write every day (or every other day–whatever works for you). The point is write on a regular basis and improve.

5. Learn From Library Books: Library books are free. Libraries buy the books that you hear about on writing sites, such as Stephen King’s On Writing or Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird and countless others. Check them out for free.

Got any other ideas?


Margo L. Dill is a writing coach, published children’s author, blogger, editor, and instructor. Find out more at To sign up for her WOW! novel course, go here. 

“Free” photo above  by Shane Adams from

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