So, you’ve found yourself in a situation where, for one reason or another, you have to (or want to) improve your writing. Why not hire a writing tutor or take a class? Great idea! But, how do you know you’re getting your money’s worth. I suppose if, by the end of the session, you’re a better writer than you were, then you’ve succeeded.

I loved writing classes all the way through school and into university. I was the one who’d say (whether asked or not), My career goal is to write essays … forever! (Shout out to all the geeks out there. Do what you love!). Whether for fiction or non-fiction, I’ve taken some writing courses that were very practical and others that were, let’s say, useful in other ways, like a creative writing class in which we spent most of our time meditating and delving into each others’ past lives.

One thing I’ve learned from all of those different instructors is to always keep a check on what you’re learning and whether or not it’s what you need to learn to be the writer you want to be. Don’t assume that the tutor knows your goals. If you’re not sure yourself, ask the tutor to help you figure it out, or take some time to work it out on your own. In the meantime, I’ve pulled together a shortlist of the top 3 traits you should look for in a good writing tutor.

1. The tutor should be willing to help you at any stage of the writing process whether you’re just starting or completing your final draft.

2. Some tutors won’t check grammar or spelling. If that’s important to you, ask upfront.

3. Look for a tutor who will ask you a lot of questions about your topic and what you want to say about it. It’s his or her job to make sure that your writing reflects you.

So, what do you think? Tell me about your own experiences and frustrations.

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