I’m getting better as a writer. Part of that is practice, part of that is feedback on what I have written, and part of it is reading what I have written and finding where I’m lacking.
One thing that still doesn’t come naturally to me is mixing dialog and action. I can do it, and I do an alright job of it when I do… but it requires me to make a point of doing it (at least right now). Instead I usually do these really, really long bits of dialog, and then long bits of action.
In my latest short story I tried fixing that, doing more mixed scenes, with action and dialog interspersed throughout.
So, that’s how I get better as a writer. I find where I’m weak and work to get strong at that particular thing. It started with dialog. I was always good at description, keeping it fairly sparse but vivid at the same time. That’s the stuff that got me into advanced writing programs in high school (a program I kept going to even after I dropped out of high school). We never covered dialog, at least not really. Language poetry, sure. Dialog? Not so much.
I do think that getting things like language poetry helped me to stretch, to not be bound by conventions. However, I feel like getting more training in dialog, in scene construction, in outlining, would have been better that early in my process.