How Has Your Writing Changed Over the Years? 9 Q’s to Think About

bouncing back quips and tips

Me! The Bounce Back Babe 🙂

Look at the voice, content, and style of your writing. How has it changed over the years? Here are a few questions to help you assess your writing style – sort of a “before” and “after” look at yourself as a writer, blogger, novelist, or poet.

My reason for writing this is a question from a reader. On What is Writer’s Voice? The Key to Writing a Good Story, Lesley of Healing the Workplace asked how my writing has changed over the years.

Funnily enough, lately my writing style and content has shifted. I started my MSW (Master’s of Social Work) at UBC (University of British Columbia) last September, and have found myself wanting to write different types of articles.

I also wanted to shift myself from The Adventurous Writer to The Bounce Back Babe. I want to be a source of light, inspiration, health, and happiness. I want to help people grow into themselves, and flow with whatever life brings. I don’t care about freelance writing anymore – I quit accepting freelancing contracts over a year ago. I just want to write stuff that helps people, like Martha Beck or Louise Hay do.

Anyway – here’s a glimpse into me and my writing. Then, a few questions to help you assess how your writing has changed over the years.

How My Writing Has Changed Since 2008

I’m more open

I really like writing tips-based articles, but I’ve learned that people like to hear stories about my life. I myself like to read about other writers’ successes and failures, ups and downs, highs and lows. So it stands to reason that others would like to read about my life…and yet I’m always reluctant to share. I’m not embarrassed – nor do I have anything to hide! On the contrary, I’m happy to spill my guts about everything from infertility (we can’t have kids) to our income (I make at least $150 per day blogging, sometimes as much as $400).

I don’t like to write about my life because it’s boring to me. Toni Morrison said the same thing to Jian Ghomeshi, when he interviewed her on Q a couple months ago. She doesn’t want to write her memoir or autobiography because …. Yawn … what a bore for her! I feel the same way. I’d much rather seek and write about stuff that’s new to me.

That said, however, my writing has changed over the years in that I’m opening up more about my life. I’m even including pictures of me on my blog posts!

I’m getting more confident as a blogger

This blog – Quips and Tips for Successful Writers – has been neglected for the last couple of years. I felt there were so many writing and blogging blogs out there, and I didn’t feel like I had anything to offer. There are so many opinions, thoughts, ideas, blog posts, op-eds, articles, updates, tweets, on and on and on and on…why contribute to the teeming slew?

But I’m learning that just being me is what I have to offer. I may not be a traditionally published author of print books, nor have I gone on blog tours or guest posted all that much, but I am a strong writer. I earn enough money blogging to live on, which is huge. I am unique, interesting, creative, enthusiastic, flexible, and happy.

My writing has gotten stronger and louder over the years, because I’m becoming more confident in and accepting of myself.

Are you a confident writer? If not, read How to Increase Writing Confidence – Grow the Skin of a Rhino.

My spiritual life is more important

I’ve always believed in God, but my spirituality didn’t really impact my writing. Now, however, I realize how healthy my spiritual life makes me. I feel comforted, happy, fulfilled, and more alive when I connect to God in prayer, Bible Study, church, or discussions with others.

My faith makes me feel good about life and myself, and that should change my writing. My faith and spirituality should change how I spend my time online, how I respond to readers, and where I put my energy. But, I often find myself getting caught up in Twitter, Facebook, surfing, and writing articles to make money instead of writing from my heart.

Does your spirituality, values, or beliefs affect your writing? It’s a process, it seems. And it ebbs and flows, like the tides.

Questions to Help You Assess How Your Writing Has Changed

It’s probably easiest to pick a specific time in your writing life to look back on. If you’ve been writing for 25 years, it’ll be difficult to do a “before” and “after” snapshot of your entire writing life! So, take a look at the last year or two of your writing life.

If some of the questions seem to overlap, just go on to the next one.

  • When did you decide to start writing?
  • Was there a gap between when you realized you wanted to be a writer, and when you actually started writing?
  • What fuels your writing now, versus what fueled your writing “back then”?
  • What are your reasons for writing? (eg, money, publication, creativity, self-respect, lifelong desire, something to say, etc)
  • What life changes have you experienced since you started writing?
  • How has your personality, values, beliefs, lifestyle, relationships, and career changed over the years?
  • Are those changes reflected in your writing style, content, or voice?
  • Why do you write? Are your reasons for writing copacetic with your actual writing? That is, are you writing articles, books, or poems that you want to write?
  • How has your writing changed over the years?

If you’d like to share your answers below, I’d love to read them!

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13 thoughts on “How Has Your Writing Changed Over the Years? 9 Q’s to Think About”

  1. Thanks for your comments! I feel sad and frustrated right now, because I can’t blog. I’m working on my MSW at UBC and can barely keep up with my practicum placement, papers, assignments, and readings — much less blog or reflect on how my writing has changed!

    If you have time to write or blog, you are one lucky person.

  2. American Punjaban PI

    I love writing, it’s always been sort of therapeutic for me. I recently left the professional writing world behind because professional writing just wasn’t for me. I did notice though that writing professionally changed my habits significantly. I learned a lot and I put it to good use.

    My personality, views and spirituality changed a lot from my interactions with other writers in my niche. My lifestyle changed drastically while I was writing professionally and has again changed now that I have started a new career. I’m sure I’ll revisit writing again later, outside of the blog world, but I will never engage in professional writing.

  3. Life has gotten in the way and I really haven’t been writing as much as I would like. Maybe it is time to start! Thanks for giving me a spark of inspiration!

  4. I’ve also learned that it’s important to accept your writing for what it is. Strive to write better and edit more tightly, but accept yourself as a writer. Self-acceptance can lead to more creativity and ideas!

  5. It’s always great to hear from my fellow writers – thank you!

    I wish I was one of those writers who writes for the sake of writing. Instead, I want to earn money from my writing. That’s one way my writing hasn’t changed over the years 🙂

  6. Love this post! I’ve found that blogging is more and more about creating relationships and sharing information on a very personal level — that may mean sharing personal stories, or simply sharing information — but it’s all about building a relationship with readers.

  7. My writing has improved over the years but its still not at that point where i want it to be. But there is still room from improvement.

    Really nice post Laurie, keep up the good work!

  8. Hi Laurie,
    Congrats! This one is really from the heart and does stir the readers’ heart. Simply beautiful.All your experiences are relatable to most of us. For example becoming more open over the years, inculcating the solace of spirituality in everyday life and eagerness to help others, are all signs of evolving into a better person.It seems that you’ve attained maturity and magnanimity and these very much reflect in the above article.
    Laurie,I’ll try to answer a few of your questions starting from the fourth.
    .I write because of my lifelong desire for creativity.I feel that I’ve a lot to say within me.The act raises my self esteem and satisfaction.It gives me something to look forward to.
    . I’ve learnt to let go of negativity.I enjoy walks in the park as i love to be around plants and birds.I’m really a fan of sprightly squirrels.Most of my article ideas are shaped there.
    .Most of my write ups are inspired one way or the other.Few i wrote thinking that they’ll attract more readers but i was mistaken.
    I’m not competing with anybody so i write when my creative spark is ignited.Of course i wish more readers visit my blog, because only their support can keep me going.
    I’ve become more confident and can’t participate in superficial conversation.
    I’m a straightforward person and hypocrisy in others revolts me. Now I don’t react but can’t help penetrating under their skin.

    Laurie, perhaps this answer is off the mark but a little bit about me is all-right.
    I enjoyed your article and agree with your assertions.
    Time spent in the university as a student is, I think, always a game changer.
    Best wishes!

  9. Thanks for your comments – it’s great to hear from you! Sometimes I feel like I’m writing into a void, but it’s good to know there are people out there 🙂

  10. This was a wonderful article to read! Hooray on the Bounce Back Babe! I actually have been thinking about getting back into blogging and writing. I had started writing when I was very young (I wrote a book of poems when I was 10) to writing a novel when I was graduating high school. Since then, life got in the way and I really haven’t been writing as much as I would like. Maybe it is time to start! Thanks for giving me a spark of inspiration!

  11. Congratulations Bounce Back Babe. I can tell you figured out something important about yourself because this is the most interesting article I’ve read from this blog (which I like) that I can remember. Thanks for sharing your turn-of-the-corner. Looking forward to reading what develops. Enjoy the new Mayan era.